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Residential Rejections

We think few doors are closed to the rich and famous. But for celebrities aspiring to buy co-op apartments in New York City, that isn't necessarily true.


Buying a co-op — or cooperative apartment — differs from buying a regular apartment or condo. In a co-op, the buyer's bid is subject to approval from the building's board of directors. Each candidate is bidding to become a shareholder, buying a membership in a cooperative. Consequently, new members are rigorously screened.


Carol Levy, a broker specializing in high-end co-ops and condos for Carol E. Levy Real Estate in New York City, compiled a list of reasons for co-op board rejections. It includes common criteria co-op boards consider such as financial status, job history and bad credit. But there are more opaque factors such as lifestyle, which Levy said, includes a "paparazzi prone rock star" and disruptive lifestyle. Even a poor interview (or "pet interview," a meeting with a potential neighbors' animal, required by some boards) can ruin a potential buyer's chances.


And even CEOs and a former U.S. President haven't been immune to a co-op board's scrutiny. Why are they rejected? While gossip-column speculation inevitably follows such rejection news, co-op boards don't specify their reasons, lest they be sued.


Click ahead to see who has been turned down from upscale residences.


By Colleen Kane
Posted 6 November, 2012

Photo: Stephen Lovekin | Getty Images