From the Daily News:
More than 200 properties across the city have 10 or more illegal-conversion complaints since 2005.
If inspectors fail to gain access on the first try, they must go back on a different day. If they fail twice, the case is closed.
In scores of cases, inspectors visited the same building for years without determining if illegal apartments are hidden inside.
Just a sampling:
* Inspectors responding to complaints about a brothel and illegal apartments on 18th Ave. in Brooklyn have visited 22 times without getting in.
* For nine years, inspectors responded to complaints about an illegal day care center with no fire exits in a complex on Ash Ave. in Flushing, Queens. Building officials could never get in.
* Inspectors failed 10 times to get into a basement apartment on Fteley Ave. in the Bronx when a caller warned in January that exits were blocked. "There was a fire there recently and there are small children," the caller said. Inspectors tried twice more and failed. Case closed.
Thwarted inspectors leave a form telling the owner to make an inspection appointment. But in the Alice-in-Wonderland world of code enforcement, there's no penalty for ignoring it.
All over the city, homeowners are partitioning rooms and adding plumbing and kitchens to create off-the-books apartments.