How Long Must a Co-op Deal Wait?
March 11, 2007



Q Are there any rules regulating the length of time it takes a co-op board to act on a buyer’s application to buy an apartment? It has been over a month since the board package was submitted and two weeks since the board interviewed the prospective buyer. What rights do co-op sellers have in demanding an answer within a reasonable time?

A “When a seller and a purchaser enter into a contract of sale for a cooperative apartment, both parties agree that the transaction will be subject to the co-op board’s approval,” said Lior Aldad, a Manhattan co-op and condominium lawyer. “Some boards make their decision faster than others, and some are more considerate of the specific circumstances of the individuals involved.”

Mr. Aldad noted, however, that unless there is a provision in the bylaws requiring the board to respond within a certain time period, there is no limit on the length of time it can take to act.

He said most co-op contracts provide that if the board has not made a decision before the scheduled closing date, the closing is extended for 30 business days. If consent is not granted by the new date, then either party can cancel the contract upon notice to the other party.

If a contract is canceled because of such a provision, he said, the deposit goes back to the buyer.