A recent NYC Council bill would have required that co-op boards give applicants a list of reasons for denial within five days of rejection, identifying specifically how the applicant failed to meet standards. Failing to do so would result in fines ranging from $1,000 to $15,000 for a first offense.
About two-thirds of the City Council initially signed on to the bill, with proponents saying it would protect applicants from arbitrary rejection by co-op boards. Critics contended it would encourage litigation and scare off prospective board members. At about the same time, a state bill was introduced that would have gone even further than the city legislation. In addition to a list of reasons for rejection, this proposal would have required the co-op board to either reject or approve an applicant within 45 days. The penalty for noncompliance? The applicant would automatically be granted acceptance.
Neither bill became law, but what was defeated in New York City has come to pass with a new law in bellwether Suffolk County â€” the first in the area to ban smoking in restaurants and talking on cell phones while driving.
The Long Island country now requires cooperative apartment boards to reveal in writing their reasons for turning down potential residents. Board members could be brought to account more easily in discrimination lawsuits, and be held personally liable. Entitled "A Local Law Requiring Fairness in Cooperative Home Ownership" (Intro. Resolution Number 1763-2009, Local Law Number 36-2009), it also requires that co-op boards provide the same application to all applicants, along with information on the relevant Fair Housing and anti-discrimination laws. Once an applicant turns in an application, the board must acknowledge within 10 days that it has received it, and must inform the applicant whether the application is complete or not. The board must come to its decision to approve or deny the completed application within 45 day