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Rejecting coop buyersJul 12, 2007


What happened to the proposed bill that would require coop boards to provide reasons in writing for rejecting a buyer? A hot topic a couple of months ago. Just curious if any of you know where that stands now.

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Hot Topic - Larry Jul 13, 2007


It looks like the bill is not going to pass. Local councilmen have been getting alot of flax about this bill.

It is a good idea to call you local councilmen and tell them that this is a bad bill for co-ops

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)
Re: Hot Topic - Steve Jul 20, 2007


Another victory for the law, and a defeat for discrimination -- showing that Montserrate's redundant bill is unneeded.

Look up Hirschmann v. Hassapoyannes, Index No. 111521/04 (Sup. Ct. N. Y. Co. June 11, 2007).

In short, a co-op board tried to revoke its approval of a sale after it discovered that the buyer wanted to install a washer-dryer in his apartment because his clothes frequently become soiled as a result of a serious medical condition.

The board lost in court, as it should have.

Can anyone tell me why we need yet another law prohibiting discrimination?

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Not dead yet! - Steve Jul 17, 2007


Although passage isn't likely thanks to Speaker Quinn's opposition, the bill is not dead. Councilmember Montserrate is likely to keep pushing 119 because it scores points so easily. (He is also prohibited by term limits to run again for the city council -- but he could run for mayor!)

Please do contact your council member. Point out:

1. The state and federal governments already prohibit housing discrimination based on the same categories 119 lists. What's more, the state and federal government prosecute violations. And when private citizens do, they win too: It happened this spring in Hudson Heights.

In other words, the bill would be doubly redundant.

2. Co-ops are not country clubs, as Montserrate suggests. (Believe me, there's no golf course, dining room or liveried valet parking at my building!) He's using that example to make a class issue out of this.

Instead, co-ops are private corporations, like law firms and medical practices. If you want to buy shares in a law firm, you have to get the approval of the owners (i.e. board of directors), and they'll probably say no unless you work for the firm.

If Montserrate wants to change corporate law in New York State (and take away rights of housing corporations), he should change New York State corporate law.

3. If a building is, in fact, committed to keeping out gay/lesbian/transgendered people, or Jews (or Catholics or Muslims or Wiccans), or people with young children, do you really think they're going to write a letter saying, "Sorry, but because you're a gay Muslim with 2-year-old twins we're denying your application"? No! They'll come up with some other reason.

4. If the bill is really meant to protect buyers, why do real estate agents get cash if a co-op loses in court? Montserrate's answer is that the agent loses money when the deal falls through. But so do the real estate lawyers, and the moving company, and the super (who would get a $20 tip for helping with the move. Why not include all of them? Who, in fact, is Montserrate taking care of?

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