FAIR CO-OP PROCEDURE LAW (Intro 188)

Intro 188 Picks Up Steam

We’re not completely sure, but believe that the NY City Council bill known as “Intro 188— the Fair Cooperative Procedure Law” has been kicked around, in one form or another, for decades.

The current version is notable, in part, because we believe it’s the 1st to garner support from REBNY, the Real Estate Board of New York.  This has led some critics to complain that the bill is designed to benefit real estate brokers.

Though brokers tend to support 188 & might benefit from its passage, make no mistake: this legislation will provide relief to thousands of individual co-op buyers & sellers—& their families—who get stuck in limbo each year, waiting endlessly for decisions from Boards that are not motivated to respond.

ACCO strongly supports this bill, & believes the tides have shifted sufficiently that it stands a serious chance of becoming law.

Action

ACCO urges all owners (condo owners, too) to write to their own City Council members, expressing support for this bill.  A draft for consideration & use is here:  Council draft.  Please note that phone calls & emails are good, but nothing works as well as a letter or fax.

Not sure which Council member represents you, or how to make contact?

find your Councilmember

It’s critical that you voice your support for this bill—together with all registered voters in your household.

Analysis

Typically, two separate provisions have been bundled into proposed laws of this type.  The 1st requires that co-op boards respond to applicants’ submitted purchase packages within a particular time frame;  the 2nd requires that boards provide a written reason if an applicant is rejected.  Suffolk County recently passed a law containing exactly these provisions: 1763-09.  Nassau County is considering similar legislation.

Intro 188 contains identical requirements for a timely response by boards to applicants’ submittals.  In the event of a rejection, however, boards need not provide a reason; all board members, though, must individually certify that they did not discriminate in considering the applicant.

This bill will not usurp or reduce by one iota Boards’ authority to accept or reject purchasers; it will simply require that they render timely decisions.  It’s fair, reasonable, & there’s no legitimate downside.

ACCO takes no position on whether a different bill, requiring that boards explain every rejection decision, would be superior;  the simple reason is that we believe such a provision would sink any bill to which it might be attached.

The timely response provisions included in Intro 188, by themselves, are highly worthwhile, & could practically eliminate the turmoil that often turns buyers’ & sellers’ lives upside down when their deals hang in limbo.  We also believe that the non-discrimination certification has some merit.

In short, though this bill is in some ways a lesser measure than some housing reformers would like to see, ACCO believes this is the 1st time any such bill has had a real chance of becoming law.  Hence, ACCO enthusiastically supports passage of Intro 188, & urges all members to:  a] write to their City Councilmembers, &  b] encourage their neighbors to do the same.

See the full bill:   INTRO 188.

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