—Frustrated in Freehold
“Typically, the “reasonable” request upon application would include the applicant’s financial responsibility, the identity of the proposed resident (whether applicant, a relative or renter), and the nature of the proposed occupancy, such as the attitude of the applicant and how he or she will get along with others at the development. The courts want these types of decisions to rely on objective standards to the extent possible. In a case where a board was found not to be discriminatory, but the board found the applicant’s answers to questions to be vague and unresponsive, the court overturned the decision to reject the applicant due to the board being subjective and unreasonable.
“Because of the financial interdependence of unit owners, the most important issue for board review is the ability of the applicant to make maintenance and other payments. You can request the basis for the denial or grounds for requiring further financial assurances, but may not receive the explanation in writing. However, as long as the board is treating your application substantially the same as all others, you would be hard pressed to overturn the decision. To the contrary, however, if you find that the board is being unreasonable, or you learn that the board has approved others similarly situated, perhaps because of some relationship with a board member or another unit owner, you would have a basis to challenge their denial.”