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March 13, 2023

Eliminating some of the mystery surrounding how New York City co-op boards operate is generating increased interest. New regulations would force co-op boards to provide written justifications for rejecting potential buyers.

Anybody who has thought of purchasing a co-op is aware that the last stage of the process includes a meeting with the board to finalize the agreement. The selection committee is not under any obligation to provide a reason if it rejects your application at any point between the offer and the interview. If approved, NYC would halt this.

The proposed legislation, one of three aimed at promoting co-op openness, would call on co-op boards to disclose this information within five business days following a board decision. Also, the statement must have sufficient details so that you may modify any subsequent applications.


Rejection is Never Enjoyable.
If you’ve ever experienced rejection, you definitely recall how painful it was. The whole goal of these suggestions is to “discourage co-op boards from turning individuals down. Additionally, the written, solemn declaration of the board about the denial must include a three-year history of the number of applications that the co-op has denied.

Co-ops that violate the legislation would be subject to fines ranging from $1,000 to $25,000 under the proposed revisions.

Exposing Cooperatives to Legal Action
One of the other recommendations involves altering how co-op application submissions are made in order to avoid the purchasing process taking months. This plan would regulate the application process so that potential buyers would learn the outcome of their application within 45 days, with the possibility of a 14-day extension, if necessary.

This would stop a buyer from feeling pressured or, worse, from losing a cheap mortgage rate because a co-op board took too long to make a decision. Yet under the proposed changes, the co-op would also be liable for penalties for missing the new deadline and run the risk of having to pay legal fees if a co-op was finally sued for breaking these requirements.

The measure addressing co-op board rejections also includes provisions for fines and legal fees.

Crisis Created By Progressivism or an Urgent Need?
Co-op application legislation changes have previously been proposed and are not a recent development. In 2021, the New York State Senate made an attempt, but the measure was unsuccessful.

Those content with the status quo points out that anti-discrimination laws are already in place to protect New Yorkers at the federal, state, and local levels, and there are commissions and agencies in place to carry them out. So, if you believe you have been the victim of discrimination, you may file a complaint with the NYC Commission on Human Rights (CCHR).

According to the most recent yearly data, 778 complaints regarding housing discrimination were submitted to the CCHR, albeit there is no evidence that these complaints are related to co-op board rejections.

How to Prevent Co-Op Board Denial The first step for any buyer hoping to avoid a co-op rejection is to satisfy the building’s financial requirements.

The financial requirements for purchasers are sometimes very severe in co-ops. The majority of co-op boards mandate that you put down at least 20–25 percent of the buying price, and some very stringent co-ops may ask for as much as 50 percent of the asking price. The issue of post-closing liquidity, or the amount of money left over to pay your maintenance expenses, is another.

Although the majority of board packages are created digitally, certain papers are still needed, such as financial data, disclosure statements, tax returns, and letters of recommendation. Updates or omissions must be explained. For instance, if you’ve just gone through a divorce, be ready to provide specific details on alimony payments, whether you provide or receive them.

Your reasons for purchasing the co-op should be your next factor to examine. Many co-ops forbid second home purchasers and demand that the unit be used as your primary residence. Choosing a co-op with accommodating pied-à-terre or sublet regulations is a good idea if you don’t intend to live in the unit full-time.

Brokers frequently claim that the interview is only a meet-and-greet and that once you get to this point, your chances of being accepted are quite good. Yet, you can encounter some unexpected questions. Remodeling may be challenging, particularly if you intend to remove the kitchen.

Be sincere, but be sure to stress how you’ll take care of your neighbors while you make progress on your apartment modifications.