$15 million lawsuit against the Dakota lives on

Dakota

Part 2 of 2

The co-operative building is legend.

Former home of John Lennon, Lauren Bacall and Leonard Bernstein, location of Rosemary’s Baby, the hulking Dakota on a corner of Central Park West at 72nd St. continues under the cloud of a $15 million lawsuit lodged by an African-American resident who served two terms as president of the board.

Alphonse Fletcher Jr., who moved into the building in 1992 claims racial discrimination in the board’s rejection of his application to purchase an adjoining apartment.  His complaint adds that he wasn’t alone, naming Continue reading

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Co-op boards like to have residents within reach

(Flickr photo by David Ip)

Co-op boards don’t like to come up empty-handed when pursuing residents who are behind in the monthly payments or otherwise need to be held accountable for their actions.

That’s a key reason that they demand so much information and an interview when someone applies to buy an apartment in their building.

That also is why so rarely will co-op boards Continue reading

It’s not easy for anyone to accept rejection

When a Web site rejects you because it doesn’t recognize your password, that’s one thing.

When a book publisher snubs your manuscript, that’s pretty bad.

And when a lover dumps you, that’s much worse, almost as depressing as a lender’s disapproval or your mortgage application.

Arguably, however, little else compares with a co-op board’s rejection of an application to become a resident of the building, and rejection has been said to be happening with rising frequency.

Not only can such a rejection be demoralizing. It also can be a devastating setback that costs time, energy and money.

For the buyer, Continue reading

Advance approval for renovations eludes buyers

Let’s renovate!

“Ah,” the prospective buyer coos, “this co-op has great potential.”

Uh, potential?

“What do you have in mind?” I might respond.

“Well, I’d like to take out that wall between the living room and dining room.  And it would be great to turn that closet into a powder room.  And. . . “

I point out that residents need to present an alteration agreement to the building’s board for approval of such an enterprise.

“Do you think there’ll be any problem?” the buyer invariably asks.

It is a good question and not one with an easy answer, surely not one with an absolute answer.

First, it is good to know or find out Continue reading

Co-op boards screw sellers, selves over price

(Flickr photo by striatic)

It is not a new phenomenon, but Jhonna Robledo of New York magazine has uncovered some troubling information about co-op boards.

The boards seem — there is no way of knowing for sure — to be turning down buyers at a growing rate if they think an apartment’s price is too low.  Says Robledo Continue reading

With co-op board package, be prepared and right

Who will fill the chairs of your Board of Directors? (Flickr photo by Chemical Heritage Foundation)

“Co-op board interviews may be the stuff of lore and apprehension, but the vast majority of turndowns occur beforehand while the board is reviewing your ‘package.”

So runs the introduction to a piece that I wrote for BrickUnderground, providing six secrets of success for obtaining that interview as part of the long process of approval to purchase a co-op in New York City.  Continue reading

The curse of the co-op strikes again!

The apartment my clients are under contract to purchase.

If there’s anything worse than preparing for a tax audit, it has to be putting together a co-op board application.

I spent three tortured hours the other day going over a packet prepared by clients of mine.  What I discovered did not surprise me:  Like most others in their situation, this couple had problems fulfilling the exacting requirements for providing the documents on a long list. Continue reading