From the Daily News:
City Hall should be able to see that the building at 341 W. 51st St. is operating illegally: There are literally red flags all over it.
The flags call it "Jazz on Times Square," a cheap hotel for backpackers and foreign students. And there are plenty of other red flags inside the city's files.
The Buildings Department knows the building isn't licensed to be a hotel, because the certificate of occupancy is valid only for single-room occupancy apartments.
"Illegal use in a residential district," reads one inspector's notes, available on Buildings' Web site. "Bldg occupied throughout as an illegal transient hotel. ... Remedy: Discontinue."
The building paid $3,200 in fines for that offense in January - and kept operating. You can rent a bunk bed in a shared room for as little as $40 a night, with a bathroom down the hall.
The situation is similar in what neighborhood activists say are hundreds of other buildings around town, where unscrupulous landlords kick out longtime tenants and market the empty rooms as hotels - building codes be damned.