If you’re looking to buy a co-op apartment in NYC, you may be aware that the typical co-op board package requires several personal and professional reference letters. The co-op board package is something of a rite of passage for anyone wanting to buy into the exclusive cooperative buildings. You not only have to qualify financially. You must also convince the co-op board that you’ll be a valuable asset as a neighbor.

This is where the reference letters come in. With a competent buyer’s agent and a few basic guidelines, it’s not tricky putting together a board package.

How many reference letters does a co-op board application require?

The first thing to keep in mind is that every co-op board is different. Some will require more reference letters but typically between three and six are needed per application. Some board applications have very strict guidelines while others are more flexible. If you’re unsure, ask your buyer’s agent to clarify the requirements with the listing agent.

Each reference letter, whether it’s a personal or private one, should be fully original with its letterhead and signed at the end.

How long does it take to collect your reference letters?

How soon you can request and assemble your reference letters depends on whether or not you are financing your purchase. If you are making an all-cash purchase, it takes less time as you can send in your application straight away. However, if purchasing with a mortgage, you will need more time. Until you receive your mortgage commitment letter, you won’t be able to submit your board application. For most banks, this typically takes 3 to 5 weeks.

In any case, you should apply for your reference letters as soon as you can. For most people, this means having a fully executed contract and a copy of the co-ops financial requirements.

While you are collecting your references your buyer’s agent will help you through the process. Once everything is in place, they will submit the full package to the board from both the buyer and seller.

What should you include in a personal co-op reference letter?

When choosing people to fill out your reference letters, cs people who know you well. They should know enough about you to fill out a full page of information with lots of anecdotes. It also helps if they are co-op owners themselves. A common mistake many people make is in making the letter about themselves rather than the applicant.

Instead, it should be full of anecdotes about how they met the candidate, how long they’ve known them and the nature of their relationship. The whole point of a personal reference letter is to show that the applicant is responsible, trustworthy and ethical.


March 17th, 2018

Dear; Members of the Board,

I am pleased and honored to provide a personal reference for my good friend Mike Adams, currently of 123 Park Ave, New York, NY, 1111

I have known Mike for seven years. Like most people, I was instantly charmed by his good nature and friendly demeanor, and we soon became close friends. Having shared many a social occasion I have found Mike to be a sincere and dependable friend.

Without reservation, I would endorse Mike to your board. He is a kind, respectful, hard-working professional and a great friend. I know that you will find Mike a good neighbor, and most likely a good friend.

Please feel free to contact me at any time if you would like more information about Mike Adams.


Stephanie Smith
Manager, Finance Administration
Williams & Co
123 Park Avenue
New York, NY, 11111

What should you include in a professional co-op reference letter?

Like the personal letter, the professional letter should also state how and why they know the applicant professionally. While also giving insight into their character traits it should mention as well how they excel at work. For instance, are they team players, leaders and do they bring a positive attitude to the workplace?


March 17th, 2018

Dear; Members of the Board,

My name is John Smith, and I am a research analyst for Smith Williams & Co. I have had the pleasure of knowing Mike Adams professionally for over three years. I would be happy to have Mike Adams as a member of my community.

I regularly seek out Mike’s advice on a variety of subjects, he is well read, and all of his opinions are well considered. Mike is a valued member of our research team and on many occasions provides reasoned insight to help solve the most complicated task.

I highly recommend Mike Smith as a friend and a good neighbor. Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions at 555-555-5555.

John Smith
Research Analyst
123 Park Avenue
New York, NY, 11111

What should you include in a landlord reference letter

A landlord reference letter is made out to show that you have paid your rent obligations on time with your previous landlord. It should include your former address, the length of your stay and the amount of your rent. It’s also good to add the landlord’s assessment of you as a tenant.


March 17th, 2018

RE: 55 West 12 Street, Apt 12B New York, NY, 1111.

To whom it may concern:

Please accept this letter as confirmation Michelle Smith residency at 55 West 12 Street, Apt 12B New York, NY, 1111. Ms. Smith has been a resident of ours since 10/1/2016 and currently pays a rent of $3,950.

Michelle Smith is an exemplary resident, consistently maintain his rent payments on time and we highly recommend Ms. Smith to any community for residency.

If there is any further information required, please feel free to give me a call.

As agent for
John Adams– 55 West 12 Street, Apt 12B New York, NY, 1111

Please feel free to contact me at landlord@gmail.com or 555-555-5555 should you have any questions. Thank you

Sam Price
Property Manager
Price Management

What if you don’t know enough people to ask for reference letters?

To ensure the application has the best chance of success you should submit a comprehensive board package. Providing less than the required number of references will only result in it being sent back before it has even been reviewed.

If you’re worried that you don’t have enough people to ask for references, ask your buyer’s agent to verify what’s needed. There may be a chance that reference letters from family members may be permitted.


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