Saturday, May 7, 2011

DOB stops homeowner from building for 5 years

From the Daily News:

After more than five years of delays and lawsuits, Bhogendra Sharma is finally moving into his South Ozone Park home.

Sleazy contractors and a protracted battle with the city Buildings Department have left him emotionally and financially drained, he said.

Sharma said he has spent almost $500,000 on stalled renovations, mortgages and taxes on a house he couldn't even live in until a few weeks ago.

Two different contractors working on his home racked up a number of violations before abruptly disappearing from the site, leaving Sharma with stop-work orders, possible fines and a unlivable, unfinished home.

Finally, Sharma did what many frustrated Queens homeowners dream of doing: he sued the Buildings Department.

He said the agency violated due process by slapping him with a $5,000 fine without a hearing.

The case was settled last fall in federal court. While not admitting any wrongdoing, the city waived the fine and lifted the stop-worker order.

A new contractor is finishing up work on the house. And Sharma is pursuing a lawsuit against one of his former contractors. He said he hopes city agencies will step up enforcement of contractors or lawmakers will find a way to crack down on the problem.


Anonymous said...

How ironic that DOB stopped him for five years. Contrast this with the rich and powerful Mets and Yankees dealings with DOB, where you stated (story above) the following:

"Both teams have been getting temporary certificates of occupancy from the Department of Buildings, which means officials believe both facilities are safe to occupy. "

Anonymous said...

It's all about standards. Welcome to the land of double standards.

Anonymous said...

Too bad he has no taste. What an awful looking home.

Anonymous said...

Who knows if Sharma complied. But I do agree with him regarding contractors doing business in NYC - there should be a more stringent standard regulating deposits, payments and satisfaction upon completed work (recourse) status.

Home owners need to understand code, change of work requests midstream and get need on paper precisely to insure both parties are in sync.

Anonymous said...

$500,000 cash in 5 years...$100,000 per year, plus lawyers at $300 to $500 per hour... that's gotta be close to $200,000 or more in earnings per year. I hope he's not attracting to much IRS attention. Shoulda just paid off the crooks and left it at that.

Anonymous said...

^^^ LOL yes the IRS going after tax cheats in Queens... right up there in priorities with enforcing immigration law.