Westchester NY Real Estate Attorneys Beware: Fair Housing Law Amended to Protect Co-Op Purchasers

In an effort to combat discriminatory practices by coop boards, Legislators in Westchester have amended the county’s Fair Housing Law (Article II of Chapter 700), effective immediately. 

This new amendment attempts to close a loophole by which coop boards could potentially discriminate against prospective purchasers by delaying action on their application beyond a reasonable time frame, or by failing to notify an applicant if their application was incomplete, rather than rejecting them outright. 

Upon receipt of an application, coop boards must now inform the applicant within fifteen days as to whether the application is complete or incomplete. If incomplete, the same time frame applies to the re-submitted application. 

In addition, the board now must provide a written notice of acceptance or rejection to the applicant within sixty days after receipt of a completed application. If rejected, a copy of the notice must be sent to the Human Rights Commission no more than fifteen days after it has been sent to the applicant. 

The new law, which has been decades in the making according to County Executive George Latimer, has not yet been taken up outside of Westchester County, though it is possible that such a measure may be discussed in the future. For more info, please see the full text of the law here.

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