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Question: I have solid credentials and financials, but was turned down by a co-op board. What can I do?
— Boiling Mad, but not in Gramercy Park

Dear Boiling:

Get over it.

You have joined a long and distinguished list of co–op rejectees, including Richard Nixon, Madonna, Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas, Cher, Billy Joel, Alex Rodriguez, Judd Apatow, Téa Leoni, Barbra Streisand, Mariah Carey, Carly Simon, Gloria Vanderbilt and Jay-Z. To name just a few.

Co-op boards have enormous discretion to accept or reject anyone for whatever reason. They can, and do, pass on potential neighbors for everything from sloppy board packages to bad interview etiquette, from doubts about finances to internal friction on the board itself. And courts have long and consistently found in favor of the boards and not the rejected buyers.

Indeed, unless you can prove that you were turned down because of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or a lengthy list of other specifically forbidden reasons, you don’t have a legal leg to stand on. And even if you could find evidence that the board illegally discriminated, you would probably end up in a long and costly legal dispute.

So take the hit and move on.

And if you think you financials are so solid, take solace in the story of gazillionaire real-estate mogul Jeff Blau. In 2009, in the midst of the national real-estate bust, Blau agreed to pay $31 million for a full-floor apartment at hyper-exclusive 820 Fifth Avenue. He enlisted his good friend and fellow gazillionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg to vouch for him.

But Blau lost out anyway. The board declined to even interview him.

David Crook is a veteran journalist and author of The Complete Wall Street Journal Real-Estate Investing and Homeowner’s Guidebooks. Do you have a question about anything real estate-related in NYC? Write him at For verification purposes, please include your name and a phone number; neither will be published. Note: Nothing in this column should be considered professional legal advice. If you have a legal issue, consult an attorney.