Unlike purchasing other types of property in New York City, a co-op is not the purchase of a piece of real property but buying a share of a corporation that owns and manages the building. In exchange, you get the use of an apartment as part of that transaction. Consequently, the board that governs the management and ownership of the building have a significant interest in who they accept to be one of their shareholders. And the questions they ask during the interview can feel a bit intrusive.
Before going to a co-op board interview, it may be helpful to speak with an experienced real estate attorney. A skilled real estate lawyer may be able to help you prepare to answer the questions during a co-op board interview.
A co-op board will take a very personal interest in anyone purchasing a unit in their building, and they may ask questions that seem very personal. But by this time, they already have extensive financial information about you, and the interview process itself is more like a meet and greet. However, it is still an important step in the process and you can still be turned down by the board depending on your answers.
Questions that a co-op board may ask include:
Being asked very personal questions by a group of strangers can be uncomfortable, and answering uncomfortable questions with as much dignity and grace as possible will be the only way to get through these interviews. But as personal as these questions may feel, there are some questions that co-op boards are forbidden to ask.
A co-op board may not ask any questions that may be construed as discrimination under New York City’s human rights laws. They cannot ask about your relationship status, your country of origin, your religion, or even how many children you have or plan to have. While they may want to know all these things, they cannot outright ask them. Consequently, they may try to phrase questions in a way that they get the information they want without seeming discriminatory.
A co-op board interview can be daunting, but once you get to this point, you are already conditionally approved. At Sishodia PLLC, our New York City real estate attorneys can help guide you and prepare you for your board interview. Call us at (833) 616-4646 or schedule a consultation through our online contact form.