Six South Park Slope property owners received no less than 27 complaints over a three day period in February. Remarkably, this is not the first time these neighbors have been tormented by 311 complaints. Back in July of 2009, eleven anonymous complaints were filed against them claiming they all had illegal conversions of some form or another. When these neighbors are not fighting off DOB inspectors they have been dealing with having their automobile's tires slashed, and their properties damaged on a regular ongoing basis. A quick check of other properties on the block show no similar instances of multiple complaints.
Building inspectors have a duty to follow up on any and all complaints, and have been making as many as three visits for each complaint, leaving what's known as a LS-4 document taped to the front door of the property when they fail to gain access. The NYCBuildings LS-4 notice is a legal request for the property owner to contact the DOB and arrange a date when the premises can be inspected. Failure to comply with this notice may result in the Department obtaining an access warrant authorizing the inspection of the premises against the home owners will.
If you conservatively estimate that each complaint will take up two hours of an inspector's time, than that's more than a week's salary, our tax dollars, thrown down the toilet... Or worse yet, used in some diabolical plot to annoy and harass hard working families during these tough economic times.
Remember that some of these complaints, for instance the ones dealing with crumbling facades and falling debris (a class A complaint) require an immediate response from the DOB in order to protect the public from possible harm. So instead of monitoring potentially disastrous foundation excavations or high rise crane installations, they're rushing out to check these fraudulent claims of falling bricks on the sidewalk and non-existing air conditioners on Sixteenth Street.
If there ever was a case for the NYC Department of Investigations, this is it.