Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hard to clamp down on illegal hotels

From the Indypendent:

There is currently no law against illegal hotels in New York City, and the city is often limited to fining hotels for violating fire, occupancy and zoning codes in an effort to keeping these establishments in check. Building owners caught operating illegal hotels in buildings zoned for residential use are only fined $800, what Yarrow Willman-Cole, a tenant organizer with the Goddard Riverside SRO Project, calls a “cost of operation.”

“It’s a legal gray area and enforcement is happening specifically where there are safety concerns, but there are other issues that can be considered [in trying to shut illegal hotels down], such as zoning, permitted use in the certificate of occupancy and the fire code,” William-Cole said.

Hotel 99 is just one part of a complex web of illegal hotels throughout the city. According to the West Side Neighborhood Alliance, a nonprofit group that seeks to provide safe and affordable housing, as of 2009 there were 270 illegal hotels across Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn.


Anonymous said...

"There is currently no law against illegal hotels..."

Well, if there is no law against it, then it isn't illegal.

Queens Crapper said...

If you have anything in your home or business that's contrary to the C of O for that building, then you have an illegal conversion.

What is meant is that there is no criminal penalty for an illegal conversion. Perhaps there should be, especially since they have been known to kill people.

Anonymous said...

if the C of O is defective you can not legally charge rent, you can not go to housing court to get a judges order for back rent.

there are laws already on the books that deal with illegal hotels, boarding houses and SRO's.
DHCR a state agency administers this.

Anonymous said...

If the city does nothing about illegally occupied single family homes then why do you think they wood give a hoot about Hotels, especially since they are all owned by friend of folks in government anyway?