New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Insider Guide



Refinancing the mortgage at a favorable rate was key to this job’s success.

Buying a co-op apartment — that is, purchasing shares of the corporation that owns the building — ain't easy. One of the many hurdles a potential buyer has to overcome is the dreaded board interview, not to mention having to successfully tackle the admissions package. The board has to scrutinize you, in part, to ensure that you are the right fit for the building; that you will be a good, courteous, and conscientious neighbor; and that you can afford your apartment. There will be background checks and credit checks and you may not get in. But what happens when you get in and then do something to smear your record? What happens if you find yourself pleading guilty to defrauding the government of more than $165,000 in a 9/11 scheme. A shareholder in Hastings-on-Hudson asks Ronda Kaysen in this week's "Ask Real Estate" column in The New York Times whether the board has any grounds to get this guy out of the co-op. And the answer is probably not what you might expect. Had this shareholder committed a crime prior to purchasing the co-op, it would have shown up on his background check and very likely lost him his chance to buy into the building. But as this happened after he was already a shareholder, well… Kaysen points out that although this guy "might have committed a crime… that fact alone does not make him a bad neighbor, nor does it mean he should lose his home. Although co-ops reserve the right to evict residents under certain circumstances, this is not one of them." The bottom line is that a board can only evict current shareholders "for doing something that harmed either the building or its residents." He's not defrauded the co-op, so he stays.

Ask the Experts

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Learn all the basics of NYC co-op and condo management, with straight talk from heavy hitters in the field of co-op or condo apartments

Professionals in some of the key fields of co-op and condo board governance and building management answer common questions in their areas of expertise

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