From the Daily News:
Faced with two fatal fires at illegal apartments in three weeks, Mayor Bloomberg insists his administration is aggressively attacking the problem in the courts.
He says the city has ratcheted up its effort to get "access warrants," which allow inspectors to get inside suspected firetraps.
But a Daily News investigation found the city's use of this weapon is anemic at best. Reviewing records and visiting dozens of suspect buildings, The News found:
The city pursued warrants in less than 1% of the 20,000 illegal apartment allegations they field each year. Usually inspectors simply close cases after two attempts to get in.
The Buildings Department usually doesn't seek a warrant - even when another city agency has already cited a property for illegal apartments.
When the city does get a warrant, there's often no followup, which allows illegal apartments to remain.