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A friend of mine and her family were recently approved for an apartment in a co-op in Yonkers, NY. Her family consist of herself, her older sister and their mother. Her older sister is the one whose name will be on the lease. The board though, had three requests that I find unusual. I want to know if such requests are illegal or at the very least, questionable:

1) The building’s board requests that the lease-holder have furniture insurance (I’m not sure if they said that’s mandatory or not. I thought that would be voluntary on the part of the tenant).

2) The board said that there would be a additional $ 7.00 monthly charge for a smoke alarm/carbon monoxide detector. I think this is illegal because – if not already installed – I thought the tenant just had to purchase the detector and install it, NOT pay a monthly charge on it like it’s being rented.

3) When the co-op board contacted my friend’s older sister that she was approved yesterday, they told her that her sister (my friend) and their mother would have to submit to a background check prior to moving in. This I’ve never heard of before. If they decline the check, can they be barred from moving in? (which I’m sure is illegal).

I realize that co-op boards do have a lot of discretion (I grew up and live in a NYC co-op myself so I know), but this particular co-op is in Yonkers, just north of NYC and are their co-op laws I’m sure are different (tried in vain to find them online); but I still think that what they are asking just flat out illegal or at the least inappropriate.

1 Thought on Three Questions about Co-op Board’s Requests for Incoming Tenants?
  1. Reply
    Landlord
    August 10, 2011 at 3:33 am

    1) yes they can require insurance

    2) they can not charge for a smoke detector, onlu for a CM detector.

    3) Yes they can be barred, all adult have to pass the same background checks as everyone else. You are completely wrong about this being illegal.

    Nothing is illegal other then charging for a smoke detector, CD detectors are very expensive, but they can require either ownership or lease of one.

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