Kids + Pets

The co-op board probably shouldn't interview your kids—but they very well might Facebook stalk them

By Virginia K. Smith  | May 27, 2015 - 11:59AM

Co-op boards can be notoriously fussy—some of them have even been known to interview potential buyers' dogs—but usually, buyers can expect their kids to be off-limits in the interview process. Not so in one Tudor City co-op, which DNAinfo reports prompted a buyer to file a complaint to the mayor and the state attorney general in response to a request by the board to bring her son—a minor—to the interview. (Though apparently she wasn't that offended: after convincing the board to drop the request, she ended up buying and is now a shareholder in the building.)

As we've written previously, it's in no way standard for a board to insist on meeting your kids before they approve you (though it's not a bad idea to have your friends say glowing things about them in your reference letters). The practice might even be borderline illegal, given city laws that make it illegal to reject a buyer from a building based on whether they do or don't have children, though this can be tough to prove as boards aren't obligated to disclose their reasons for rejecting buyers.

“My point in the [complaint] was to show the ill-preparedness, the lack of training that co-op boards have and real estate agents have,” the co-op buyer in question told DNAinfo. “They don’t know that this is not legal. It’s completely unethical, but it’s also illegal.”

The buzz around the case may mean boards will shy away from invasive kid questions at your next board interview (lest they invite more scrutiny), but one thing you'll still want to keep in mind: your kids' digital footprints. A few years back, we heard tell of an Upper East Side co-op shutting down a sale after discovering via Facebook that a buyer's son was a member of a "hate group." If you're about to embark on an apartment hunt, spend a few minutes switching your settings to private, and making sure your progeny does the same (and while you're at it, make sure they don't join horrible organizations on or off social media, period).


I'm buying a co-op. Will the board want to interview my children?

UES co-op kills sale after reading kids' Facebook page

Best answers to the hardest questions at the co-op board interview

Moving with kids? 3 need-to-know tips for finding a family-friendly apartment

How to get your dog past a co-op board

Ace your co-op board application: 14 successful real-life reference letters

Brick Underground articles occasionally include the expertise of, or information about, advertising partners when relevant to the story. We will never promote an advertiser's product without making the relationship clear to our readers.