CooperatorNews – The Board Approval Process
Herrick partner Deborah Koplovitz was quoted by CooperatorNews discussing the board approval process for buying into a cooperative. Boards can demand a great deal of personal information from buyers, and can approve or deny a purchase, as long as the decision is legally sound and not discriminatory.
The article states, "Even in states that allow boards to consider non-financial criteria and potentially deny a purchase application based on those grounds, the discretion granted them does not equal a license to discriminate. Boards must stay on the right side of ethics and the law. Key among those laws is the federal Fair Housing Act. According to Deborah Koplovitz."
Deborah is quoted as saying, "The Act was passed in 1968 [and] was the most important piece of legislation from the civil rights era."
The article continues, "While the Act’s initial purpose was to promote integration and discourage racial discrimination, Koplovitz continues, its scope has expanded since then. “In 1988, it was extended to include people with disabilities, for instance."
Later the article notes that, "rejecting a buyer for non-financial reasons can have serious repercussions. Koplovitz notes that even asking an applicant’s age—common on many applications—is ill advised, since that question could be grounds for a discrimination claim."