From the Times Ledger:
City officials are ramping up efforts to inform individuals about illegal apartments following complaints by state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) and borough residents that too many college students are crammed into area homes, Queens Department of Buildings Commissioner Ira Gluckman told a Community Board 8 meeting last week.
“For the next two weeks we’re having our inspectors go to various subway stations to hand out fliers with information about illegal apartments,” Gluckman said at the Nov. 18 meeting.
The flier says a tenant should look into the legality of his or her apartment if the bedroom is in the cellar or attic, if they get electricity with an extension cord or if they lock their room with a padlock. It comes on the heels of Padavan’s October letter to Gluckman, in which he said there are at least 11 houses illegally inhabited by St. John’s University students in the Fresh Meadows and Jamaica Estates area.
The commissioner said DOB officials went to inspect each of the houses and confirmed that two were legal residences, gave one home two violations for subdividing the house and gave another residence one violation for creating an apartment in the attic. Inspectors were denied access to the other seven houses and Gluckman said they are not permitted to force their way into a house.
“We can get access warrants, but judges aren’t happy to give these out readily,” Gluckman said.