Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Park Slope plagued by phony 311 complaints

From IMBY:

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.


Anonymous said...

It just maybe that your property is illegally being rented and that your neighbors are fed up with your tenants double parking, throwing garbage around, making noise late into the night or simply said you the landlord are not a good building owner and your neighbors are going after you - period. Make sure your paying taxes on this rental income because the IRS has probably been notified as well.

So get your place properly CO by the city and if it has, you have nothing to fear so let the DOB inspect your property.

Queens Crapper said...

Perhaps you missed the part about the complaints being fraudulent, and also failed to click on the link, which shows, "Many of these complaints have already been cleared by DoB inspectors, determined to be unfounded."

Anonymous said...

one thing the article is wrong about: these people really don't face the risk of the city obtaining a warrant and entering the home w. out their permission. The stats show the city obtains warrants only a handful of times a year, in very few cases percentage wise.

Jeffrey Tastes said...

it's probably just one queens crapper living in south park slope that's causing all this trouble. they also probably don't know that these issues have been cleared up and just think the govt is doing nothing about their complaints. I wonder if they get feedback from their complaints.

Queens Crapper said...

No this happens when a company that removes violations wants to drum up business. It happened in Maspeth, it happened in Whitestone.

Mars like the Planet said...

Well keep in mind that the average 'joe' does not care enough to make that many fraudulent complaints. This seems to indicate that the culprit is either as, anon said, a neighbor, or someone grasping at straws and hoping to get the owner in enough trouble till a sale is the only solution. I suspect the latter because a neighbor can legitimately complain of one illegally renting a basement or otherwise. Either way it does not make it right. It just uses up our resources and the rest of the constituents get to foot the bill. I suspect the complaints are aimed at the owner to coerce the owner to sell the property. What a shame.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like it may be a developer conspiring to sabotage these buildings in hopes of buying a couple of consecutive buildings, tearing them down and putting up... of course... a glass and steel high rise.

Anonymous said...

To bad after the DOB inspects someone's property for violations, they hold out their hand for CASH and then LEAVE.

Only in New York.

Thanks to the most corrupt mayor and administration in history.

Anonymous said...

I believe I am a victim of this as well (different neighborhood in nyc but same problem). Any additional info about this?