Westchester compels co-op boards to justify rejection of buyers

A co-op disclosure law amendment is designed to prevent discrimination by co-op boards

Westchester County Executive George Latimer (Westchester, Getty)
Westchester County Executive George Latimer (Westchester, Getty)

Westchester County now requires cooperative boards to provide a reason when they deny an applicant’s purchase of a unit, according to Real Estate In Depth.

The Westchester County Board of Legislators voted 15 to 2 Monday to pass an amendment to its Co-Op Disclosure Law and County Executive George Latimer signed it into law that night. It takes effect immediately.

The amendment requires boards to provide a notice of rejection to the Westchester County Human Rights Commission with 15 days of notifying prospective buyers of a denial.

It also mandates disclosure of minimum financial requirements to potential buyers before they apply to purchase a unit.

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The amendment is designed to prevent discrimination against applicants, an issue that has plagued other jurisdictions in the state, including New York City.

The New York Senate is currently considering a similar measure. Co-op board trade groups have traditionally opposed such bills, claiming they would trigger lots of lawsuits, but that has not happened in the jurisdictions that have enacted them.

Such an amendment was first proposed in Westchester County in 1990 and has been pushed by the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors since then.

[Real Estate In Depth] — Dennis Lynch