Monday, May 23, 2011

So much for the illegal conversion crackdown

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.


Anonymous said...

the DOB is a weak back-boned department that has little inclination or purpose in law enforcement. This aspect of the Department should be turned - over to those who know the implications of an illegally converted buiding first hand - Fire-Marshals. These folks have enforcement training, knows why housing code and CO's are enacted and certainly demand that their Department be safeguarded from fighting fires because of code vioations.

Auntie Invasion said...

it all comes down from the top. slumlords get off easy in NYC housing court thanks to buddy Bloomie. Judges will order appliances such as stoves and refrigerators removed from illegal apartments, those that are not up to code, in attics and basements, evict the tenants. the slumlord waits a month, then rents it out to some other sucker who will pay a higher rent. the problem is in Queens county immigrant slumlords use harassment tactics such as bullying, shutting off electricity & water which in the long run causes problems for themselves.

Anonymous said...

Greek landlords have these superstitious olive oil lanterns that start fires if tipped over. All those Greek Dracula landlords do it:
Adonis Morfesis (Harlem, 1986)
Bakos (Buffalo,2003)
Nicholas Haros (Corona, 2006)