Surviving the Apartment Search If the First Buy Fails, Try, Try Again

I have always thought of myself as a good person. I have a job, I earn a living, I buy American-made products, do community service,

visit my parents at least once a month and freely admit to watching Melrose Place. As if that weren't enough, I don't blast my stereo, I never have loud and large parties, I always pay my rent on time and I have never bounced a check. All in all, I'm a building's dream tenant. Having lived in New York for 27 years, one would think this fact alone would entitle me to be passed by even the toughest board in Manhattan.

I found my dream co-op on East 79th Street just three days after I had started the active search: a large pre-war one-bedroom apartment with a huge living room, fabulous walk-in closets and a small work area. It had charm, style and a personality all its own. There was a solidness and wholeness to it. This was a place where I could spend the rest of my life.

After completing endless paperwork, dealing with negotiations, unearthing everyone who had ever said something nice about me, paying the lawyer's fee, the copying fee, the interview fee, and on and on, it was finally all completed. The next step was the board interview.

Unlike most people, I was looking forward to it. Like a child on her first day of school, I had already planned what I was going to weara conservative but fashionable designer suit with a French cut shirt. But alas, I never got the chance to wear it; my favorite brown wool pant suit hung untouched in my closet.


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  • Rent Stabilized Tenants and Rent Controlled Tenants are no different from buyers who are trying to buy a co-op apartment in the building, except that rent stabilized/controlled tenant live in the converted co-op building and buyers who do not. While the board reject buyers who don't live in the building from buying a co-op apartment, the board refuse rent stabilized/controlled tenants from buying their apartment also. This is a dangerous situation because the rent stabilized/controlled tenants are already living and occupying their apartment and some board members live in the same building as them. It's bad enough to be rejected by boards outside the building in other co-op building if you're a rent stabilized/controlled tenant trying to be part of the community and to be rejected by the board in the building where you live is even worse. This is why all co-op buildings cannot have occupying rent stabilized/controlled tenants in more or less units. It is a conflict and will cause serious static and strife between them and the board. Therefore to alleviate this issue is to encourage rent stabilized/controlled tenants buy their apartment since they are already occupying in the co-op building and the board must embrace them into the cooperative community.