Since the board does not have the power to deny the sale—only the right of first refusal, or finding another buyer under the same terms within a 30-day time frame—what right do they have to collect this information? I’m putting down a 30 percent down payment, and am considering submitting my application via certified mail. On the 20th day I would have my attorney send a reminder that we will be closing in 10 days if they refuse to answer—that would be the acknowledgement of their failure to exercise right of first refusal—and would allow me to close.
I hate to go that route, but will if it’s necessary. Do you have any advice on what my rights are in this situation? What options do I have? If I so forcefully gain entry into the community, (i.e., transfer of deed without going through their procedures, but respecting the 30-day right of first refusal clause), can I run into problems residing there?
-Prospective Manhattan Unit Owner
“While the Board of Managers of a condominium typically does not have the right to deny the sale—it only has the right of first refusal—the Board of Managers is, in addition to its other rights and powers, empowered to collect common charges from the unit owners, to maintain a suit to recover a money judgment for unpaid common charges and to bring an action to foreclose a lien on a unit for unpaid common charges.
“Therefore, it is reasonable for the Board of Managers, in determining whether to exercise its right of first refusal or to grant a waiver of the right of first refusal, to request financial information, such as tax returns, payroll stubs, bank statements and a credit report, from the prospective purchaser.