Co-ops vs condos: The power to reject a buyer

Here’s a fact that might surprise you: A co-op board can turn down a buyer for any lawful
reason. And because the reason need not be divulged, this means that in practice, unlawful
reasons (race, religion, profession, sexual orientation, nationality, etc.) may also prompt a
rejection. (Note: If you buy an apartment directly from the sponsor, you will not need board
approval at all.)

For various reasons, most condo buyers these days are subjected to nearly as much
financial and personal scrutiny as co-op buyers. But rather than being turned down outright,
pretty much the worst that can happen to a condo buyer is that they wither away on the vine
while a board engages in deliberate stalling tactics. Stalling is about all an unenthusiastic
board can do, except for buying the place outright via the right of “first refusal”—which
virtually never happens.

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