The Times is on a roll this week:
Basement space that is below ground level is legally defined as “cellar space” in the city’s building code and deemed “uninhabitable” because it lacks natural light and ventilation. Cellar space cannot be sold or rented as a free-standing apartment or even as a bedroom, so floor plans label an apartment’s basement space as “accessory space at cellar level,” “recreation room,” or simply “storage.”
Unearthing Hidden Space
Because the space is not considered living space, the building code does not allow full bathrooms to be built in basements, so developers are building only half-baths.
But buyers often wind up renovating and create full baths and guest rooms or bedrooms, said Mr. Kliegerman of Halstead. “Although it’s not prescribed to be used that way, a couple might have a child and decide to use it as a dwelling area even though legally it’s not living space,” he said.
When it comes time to sell the property, the owners must market it as a one-bedroom with basement space, he said, “but other families will see it as a two-bedroom that’s selling for $150,000 less than a real two-bedroom, so why not? It’s an unwritten rule of thumb.”
You hear that Robert LiMandri? This guy just told you and your agency to go play with yourself. Go after his license.