Thursday, September 23, 2010
SHOCKING NEWS: A shitload of illegal conversions in NYC!
From The NY Times:
City inspectors posing as apartment hunters discovered dozens of spaces that had been illegally converted into residences, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced on Thursday.
Armed with hidden video cameras, undercover agents visited 62 properties and found that 54 of them were not legal apartments because of a number of violations, including not having two ways to get out in the event of a fire, he said.
At a City Hall press conference, Mr. Bloomberg, who was joined by Robert D. LiMandri, the commissioner of the city’s Department of Buildings, said that Buildings Department inspectors read apartment classifieds on Craigslist looking for telltale signs of illegal conversions, like “utilities included.” (A landlord would not want to give a tenant a reason to to call Con Edison and divulge that he or she has moved into an illegal apartment, officials explained.)
As a result of the investigation, which started in May, the city imposed orders to vacate on 33 properties because the violations were so serious, city officials said. Officials said it was difficult for inspectors to police illegal conversions unless they get a warrant.
“It is also often legally very difficult or impossible for inspectors to gain access to buildings they suspect have been illegally converted,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “But we do believe that our stepped-up enforcement efforts, through creative approaches such as these undercover investigations, are going to make building owners think twice about keeping their properties up to code.”
How long do you think this crackdown will last?
BTW, this effort started here in Queens.