Sunday, December 21, 2014

Can illegal conversions be busted with circumstantial evidence?

From PIX11:

Bob Cassara has lived in Bay Ridge his whole life.

After a neighboring home came under new ownership and went through a massive renovation recently, Cassara decided to take a look at the plans from the Department of Buildings.

“What had before maybe three or four bedrooms, now has 11 or 12 bedrooms,” said Cassara.

Naturally, the plans raised some questions, so Bob brought it to the attention of the local community board.

“They said the houses are being converted illegally.”

In fact, the city receives more than 20-thousand complaints about illegal conversions each year.

And the reality is they put a burden on tax payers by raising home values, put first responders at risk because of inaccurate plans, and cause over-crowding at local schools.

“This is a lose, lose all around and it’s growing throughout the whole city,” said City Councilman Vincent Gentile.

The problem is, even if the Department of Buildings believes a home has been illegally converted, they can’t go inside to check without permission from the owners. Which is why Councilman Gentile has proposed new legislation that would strengthen the laws for the city.

“We send people to jail circumstantial evidence,” said Gentile. “So there’s no reason why we can’t have circumstantial evidence help us to try to stem the tide of the illegal conversions happening in our city.”

So what can you look out for?

Gentile says extra doorbells or electric and water meters might be the mark of an illegal conversion. There may also be multiple entrances like there are at this home Gentile’s office says is on a list of suspected illegal conversions.


Anonymous said...

A glimmer of hope.

Anonymous said...

We have an illegal hotel down the block - 311 has been notified repeatedly!!!

Anonymous said...

Just look at the satellite dishes and the garbage - it's very easy to tell in Flooshing! Also - white vans are another sign!

Anonymous said...

Everybody find one Uncle Joe in the building department.
so they can cover their crop.
so many business without certificate of occupancy DOB knows about it.
this is a perfect opportunity for them.
that's why they don,t bothered.

JQ said...

here is the blaz's plan is plain sight.this conflates with the D.O.E.'s lack of interest in school overcrowding.

I know the needs of poor families must be met,but this is ridiculous.and all this development and construction is obviously sanctioned and fixed by the officials in city hall and the D.O.B..this is a bad way to achieve this supposed 10 year goal,but it will be done by any means necessary.

legacy first,safety second

might as well call it vision infrastructure zero

Anonymous said...

Electricians who install extra meters should be brought up on charges. Likewise, Con Ed.

Anonymous said...

Lol @ electricians. Silly you can't charge electricians for the additional meters because they are installed with permits from the buildings dept. That is the only way coned will install a meter. So yeah to correct that problem, Dob has to change the law. But the additional meters known as PLP or landlord meters are setup for absentee landlords or for investment properties. They are misused though.