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Admission Jun 11, 2017

I have two questions.
First: I'm a Board member in a co-op and the sponsor and another Board member were supposed to interview a person who wanted to rent my apartment. The sponsor told me that I was not allowed to be present during the interview. I responded that I could be present but not vote. The reason I wanted to be at the meeting was to make sure that they give the correct information to the applicant. The sponsor and the other board member walked out. Do I have the right to be present at the interview and not participate.
Second. A month later a Board member stated that it was voted unanimously to reject the tenant without an interview. Can one Board member interview a tenant and make a decision without discussing it with the other board members.

Join the Conversation Comments (2)
Admission - peoples choice #1 Jun 12, 2017

Did the sponsor give you a reason why you couldn't sit in? Did you interview your renter yourself before they went for the interview? If your answer is yes you did interview the renter before the board approved then I would have trusted my fellow board members. By you insisting on being in the room made them so upset they walked out. I would talk to them and apologize for the misunderstanding. The full board voted to reject your tenant because you did not trust the Admissions committee to interview them without you.

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Admission Interview - Steven424 Jun 21, 2017

Question #1: Since you are a board member who participates in perspective subtenant interviews and since it is your perspective subtenant who is being interviewed, your other board member might have felt you had a conflict of interest. Even if you remained silent at the interview, the simple fact of your presence could have influenced other board members into asking "softball" questions or not asking pertinent but difficult questions out of deference to you. It's just not a good idea for a board member who has a perspective purchaser or tenant to participate in that interview.

Your comment about "...make sure they give the correct information to the applicant" concerns me. It sounds like you and other board members have differences of opinion about what the subtenant should or should not be told. Your predisposition to approve your own subtenancy could easily color what you say, and this could be of concern to the other board members.

Question #2: Unless specifically stated otherwise in the proprietary lease or bylaws, there is no minimum limit on the number of attendees at a purchaser or subtenant interview. You first wrote the board voted unanimously to reject your tenant. Then you asked if only one board member could interview and then unilaterally make a decision about the tenant. This seems contradictory as to the number of board members involved.

Many boards vote to reject purchasers and subtenants without an interview. This usually occurs if, for example, the board feels a purchaser's financials are not strong enough, there is something unsavory revealed in a background check, the purchaser or subtenant has any sort of diplomatic immunity (impossible to control or evict), things like this.

Most attorneys strongly recommend that the interview be used to meet-and-greet and not as a venue for discovery. Once the purchaser/subtenant and the board meet face to face and if they are rejected, it is much more difficult to defend against charges of discrimination of a protected class.

All in all, it sounds like your board acted appropriately and you simply should have recused yourself from the interview.

Kinda long, but I hope this helps.

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