illegal basement apartment nyc eviction

=)^)%!:l_@C)M]"CwtQu},6{.iimF=sWw `FCwi The only regulatory solutions the city has is to inspect, issue violations and vacate, Kavanagh said. This type of activity violates zoning regulations. Eviction notices for trumped-up reasons. Members and sponsors make THE CITY possible. After spending a night in jail, she was issued a temporary order of protection by a judge. That is, the C of O will state what purpose each floor may be used for. Many two family houses in Queens have a C of O that states the first and second floors may be used for one family dwelling purposes, and the basement or cellar may be used for storage or accessory use. The landlord has brought a holdover case to evict the second floor tenant. The bill would grant theDepartment of Buildingsthe authority to create exceptions and new building codes. At Montefiore, nurses won a 19% wage increase over three years. Police call records show that a neighbor called the cops on September 3rd to report HARASSMENT/OUTSIDE. But the police did not help their neighbor, according to Norma. Sign up and get the latest stories from THE CITY delivered to your inbox each morning. The tenant may be able to win in other ways. Other illegally subdivided areas of an apartment, house, or a building. But ultimately, they did not file a housing court case. I was only picking them up outside. So all my furniture, what I have personal belongings, nothing, I get nothing. In an effort to help more tenants live safely and legally in basement dwellings while also bringing in income for homeowners last year HPD and other city agencies launched a pilot program in East New York and Cypress Hills. Please reference the Terms of Use and the Supplemental Terms for specific information related to your state. 0000064661 00000 n Hotels are not SROs. We definitely all noticed a huge uptick in these types of cases during the pandemic, said Deenihan. With the housing justice movement advancing across the U.S., residents in one New York public housing project hope to serve as a model. He said that despite the program cuts, funding for loans remains to support the nine approved applicants. During the pandemic, New York Attorney General Letitia James issued guidance to police statewide, urging them to enforce unlawful evictions as a criminal matter if they had probable cause. The Brooklyn DAs office did not disclose how many cases it handled, while the Queens DA did not respond to multiple requests for comment. As New York City Cleans Up From Ida Landlords Won T Be Fined For Illegal Basement Apartments Abc7. Because their restaurant work was cut during the pandemic, they had fallen behind on rent but were gradually paying their landlord back, according to them and a rent ledger they maintained. (914) 377-6560 8:30 am -4:30 pm. 37 0 obj You can check the Certificate of Occupancy on the DOB website to see if the basement you wish to rent is legal. Click a topic, or press the enter key on a topic, to reveal its answer. Unauthorized basement and cellar units come with risks including exit issues, unsafe gas and electrical systems, and a lack of light and ventilation, theDepartment of Buildingssays. Legalizing basements cant happen at the city level alone which is why I am grateful for Assembly member Epstein andSen. Kavanaghfor their leadership and partnership in finally creating a pathway to helping more New Yorkers access safe and legal homes, said Jessica Katz, the city's chief housing officer. But this time, they arrested Holness. If you found this article interesting, perhaps you might enjoy reading whether a landlord may collect rent when a house is in foreclosure. Both HPD and DOB may inspect for illegal occupancy of basements or cellars. 0000073831 00000 n Illegal activity in progress, including gambling, drug dealing, or immediate danger to life or property. /Height 346 In a Brooklyn case, on two occasions a landlord allegedly entered a tenants apartment, hit the tenant, took the keys and threw the tenant down the outside apartment steps. Tenants in the New York City Housing Authority's Cooper Park Houses, a historically Black low-income housing complex in Brooklyn, are accustomed to making do and defying the odds, whether that means scrambling to secure last-minute holiday meals for . The notice mentioned that they received a complaint about "illegal conditions" which means someone ratted me out.I did purchase a gas stove for the basement (illegal, but I can have someone remove it temporarily), a small refrigerator and installed a kitchen sink. This is a change from the previous minimum of 8 feet, thanks to the recent revision of the city's building codes. And its hard to interpret it as any other way, except that its a way of getting around the eviction moratorium.. In New York City, where you can expect to pay more than $2,000 a month for even a modest one-bedroom apartment, you can find one of these unregistered rentals for less than $1,000. By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice. In our example, we were using a two family residential house in Queens. There is a minimum ceiling height of 7 ft. Compliance with the Housing Maintenance Code for minimum room size. Holness kept calling the police, and officers wrote up two incident slips on March 21 noting her reports of harassment and illegal eviction. Former Mayor Bill de Blasio established a pilot program in 2018 to bring a section of unregulated basement units in East New York, Brooklyn, up to code, but he cut funding for the program by 92% in the pandemic. Basement Apartments Safe for All had even developed specific conversion blueprints, focused on such details as waiving parking requirements, floor-area ratio and, crucially, providing owners. A cellar is an enclosed space having more than one-half of its height below curb level. This can include illegally renting housing to guests who stay less than 30 days. These costs can be significant. (a) it shall be unlawful for any person to evict or attempt to evict an occupant of a dwelling unit who has lawfully occupied the dwelling unit for thirty consecutive days or longer or who has entered into a lease with respect to such dwelling except to the extent permitted by law pursuant to a warrant of eviction or other order of a court of /Resources << They sought a pause on rent, but their landlord told them to leave instead. To report a Single Room Occupancy (SRO) being rented as a hotel room, use theHousing Used for Short-Term Rental (Vacation Rentals or Illegal Home-Sharing)page. Mifsud said Stewart threatened and endangered her life, which Stewart denied in the text messages. >> Carol, 63, of Queens, lives in a homeless shelter after a Housing Court decision issued last summer determined that her previous apartment was an illegal dwelling. 0000063002 00000 n I lose everything, said Holness. Holness called the police, and they tried and failed to open the building door, she testified, backed up with a photo of the cops trying unsuccessfully to get in. 1. Petitioner alleged that on or about February 12, 2021, respondent landlord Aletha Grant . You don't have permissions to view these records. He can even work with other contractors, like architects and builders to help ensure all the work is completed in a timely manner. Report past illegal conversion of a commercial space. City officials ordered an apartment vacated on Hoyt Street in Brooklyn. Im not getting no help from the cops she added. The bottom of any yard or other required open space cannot be higher than six inches below the window sill of any required window in the room. Report past illegal conversion of a manufacturing space. The tenant doesnt move, so is then served with court papers a Notice of Petition and Petition for Holdover. In every instance, the arrests came after those tenants made repeated complaints about building conditions to either Mifsud or HPD. BACPP provides eligible low- to middle-income homeowners living in one- to three-family homes in East New York and Cypress Hills, Brooklyn (Community District 5) with low or no-interest, or possible forgivable, loans to convert their basement or cellar into a safe, legal, and rentable apartment, based on altered building code legislation pass in February 2019, Intro. For tenants, calls to the police for an unlawful eviction can lead nowhere even when other government agencies confirm landlords acted illegally. After the flooding stopped and the water began to drain, Luis took a video of himself in a bathing suit, taking stock of their ruined possessions as he waded around his home. 0000003619 00000 n /Name /Im24 View > Text Size > Largest, In the View menu, select Zoom In. I packed to move and then COVID came. 11-17-2010, 06:05 PM. Now comes the interesting part. Illegal apartments from analteredbasement, cellar, or attic. The rental agreement in many states becomes unenforceable. Of course the tenant loses as well because he must vacate; but the landlord must pay his relocation expenses which are assessed at an amount equal to six times the monthly rent, five days before the tenant vacates the premises. You should be contacting an attorney to follow the proper eviction proceedings and save yourself a criminal charge in the process. If your landlord . C Z\" Around the date Mifsud was served with the court papers, the building locks got changed altogether, Holness testified, and Mifsud did not provide her with a key. The tenant will most likely report the illegal basement and you will be required to return all of the tenants rent money back to her. You can opt out at any time. Kavanagh said he expects a floor vote on the legislation before the session ends on June 2. She was shut out for good. And it hurt us very much to leave our home, said Norma. The room complies with the requirements of the Housing Maintenance Code for rooms not located in the cellar or basement, e.g., minimum room size. The landlord may be able to cure the problems and the tenant would be permitted to stay. All Rights Reserved. /Length 53886 We Asked Four People With Inside Knowledge. Hochul signs carpet, rug recycling bill, Judge orders developer to sell old P.S. The guide lists specific instructions for arresting landlords if an officer has probable cause some sign that the law is likely broken. HPD did not respond to requests for comment. You can report people living in commercial space. I called the police, and I was so despondent. I didnt want to waste my time talking to a cop, and in the end, they wouldnt do anything, said Luis. While fines and penalties have become much more serious for landlords, it does not change the fact that tenants must vacate an illegal property unless the landlord can remedy the illegal issue(s). ;KiadxtaV9[">)jcjT Even if Lynch doesn't show up having the violation will work in your favor for eviction. J90+Y18X[&hZV(CtoNJ|,Y,2jS\\m+L=H:\ Q&xtF&+!O8(*I,U wlR(TI\CPg3$UESk|'l`%FWj[X(UD1]@=[iSgGEH& \W !-lxT( left the program with just $91,000 for the year, LISTEN: A State of the State for an Unsettled State, How These NYC Public Housing Residents Became Models for Tenant Rights Activism, In State of the State Speech, Hochul Backs Adams Housing Agenda, Northwest Bronx Leads City in Heat Complaints, No Heat in Your NYC Apartment? JFIF C Police also issued at least 131 criminal summonses less serious than an arrest for unlawful eviction during those two years, according to court and NYPD data. Long story short we have been collecting 1,200 a month on rent from a family friend. Report past illegal conversion of a residential space. These represent extreme circumstance and are issued at the urgency of the households safety and well-being, he said. Attorneys may be able to work out a deal with a landlord and avoid court. Some tenants have become homeless after their basement apartments were exposed. Basement Apartment Conversion Pilot Program (BACPP). Heating Regulations for the City of Yonkers. Tenants in buildings built before February 1, 1947 who moved in after June 30, 1971, are also covered by rent stabilization. In another, a landlord allegedly cut the power and water to a tenant in a bid to evict them. While you can be evicted because it is an illegal residence, you cannot be evicted for not meeting the terms of the lease. View > Zoom > Zoom In, In the View menu, select Text Size. He'll eventually be successful, but it will take a good amount of time and cost him a significant amount of money in fines/possible renovations. endobj Or, perhaps the building is not registered with the city as an apartment or rental unit. (914) 965-3331 4:30 pm-8:30 am. Between 2007 and 2017, there was a 43% increase in renters over 60. How to evict a tenant out of illegal basement apartment in nyc. 22 0 obj /Filter [/FlateDecode ] Its very hard.. HPD cited Mifsud eight times in January 2021 for violations in Stewarts apartment, two of them immediately hazardous. Just 25 landlords faced charges for illegally evicting a tenant in 2020, according to New York state court data released this summer. Cellars in one- and two-family homes cannot be lawfully used for sleeping, eating, or primary. A Housing Court judge found Holness landlord had failed to provide heat, hot water and electricity for weeks. The walls, as high as ground level, must be damp- and water-proofed if HPD determines that subsoil conditions on the lot require it. Including all New York City Housing Court cases where tenants alleged a disruption of services, a lack of repairs, harassment, illegal lockouts or an uninhabitable apartment, tenants filed just over 16,450 cases seeking relief over those two years. The Official Website of the City of New York. 1. When it comes to landlord-tenant issues, very few places in the United States, or possibly even the world, are as complicated as housing in New York City. This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports. The Far Rockaway building where Carol Holness lived, as does landlord Rachel Mifsud. #vuU7d |l KJ?e8w!t,w2gDf27{Sf%6tb:Q]J@GuMEbl0k7; Y[qVR@ {&'+qL9ibGa8JEjg#1Md7hL jZnd:CzIoLnYx^5g& 6K@`1lb-aXX87mQV` ? Cutting the red tape to ensure the citys basement apartments are livable is the bare minimum we should do, said Beth Finkel, the organization's state director. To report active/current construction without a permit or against approved plans, go totheBuilding Construction Complaintpage. Some states are very strict with landlords who rent illegal apartments to tenants. The thing is, state law constrains what they can do to make them legal.. According to Housing and Preservation Development, basement apartments cannot be rented legally unless they meet specific requirements for air, light, sanitation, and means of egress. Petitioner Patricia Howard ("petitioner") commenced this illegal eviction proceeding seeking to be restored to possession of the premises 3337 Fish Avenue, Basement Apartment, Bronx, New York, and an award of treble damages pursuant to RPAPL 853. For housing advocates, the scant number of arrests confirms what theyve long observed that the police do not treat unlawful eviction as a crime, preferring to let tenants and landlords duke it out in Housing Court. Can a Landlord Collect Rent for an Illegal Apartment? /Root 21 0 R By Ishan Thakore Feb 17, 2022, 2:00am PST Republish NYC Landlords Almost Never Get Arrested for Illegal DIY Evictions Criminal summonses, meanwhile, are adjudicated by the citys Law Department. Basements and cellars are very different spaces and have different legal uses. When he opened the backyard door, dirty water cascaded into their apartment like a waterfall, according to him and multiple photos and videos provided to THE CITY. Common browsers are included in this page; mention of a specific browser does not imply endorsement or recommendation. Holness, a home health aide, saw her utilities cut and her locks changed last year in her Far Rockaway apartment, after her neighbor and landlord, Rachel Mifsud, received a foreclosure notice. /S 132 Norma and Luis did not receive any federal stimulus and unemployment benefits because they are undocumented, and they did not apply to the states Excluded Workers Fund, which has stopped taking applications. Theyre facing the same crisis as many during the pandemic, including lost income, health risks at work and precarious finances. 0000000017 00000 n Since NYC has so many different kinds of buildings and tenancies, were going to use a two family house as an example in this article. HPD launched a pilot program, theBasement Apartment Conversion Pilot Program (BACPP),in partnership with Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation. During this period, property owners must /Prev 89579 You would not be removing the kitchen for safety concerns. /N 3 /ColorSpace /DeviceRGB Since May, Holness hasnt been able to return to her apartment. But during the pandemic a time of extraordinary hardship for renters and landlords alike the police rarely did, even as thousands of tenants filed Housing Court cases against their landlords for the same acts. Undocumented immigrant couple Norma and Luis say they were illegally evicted from their Queens apartment after it was flooded in Hurricane Ida. So, lets assume that a landlord owns a two family house out in Queens. If a landlord tries to evict a tenant based on any of these characteristics, the tenant can use the discrimination as a defense to the eviction. The court in the same case stated above that " there is no statute prohibiting the collection of rent from an illegal one or two family dwelling." Case law supports my argument. Shes now suing Mifsud in small claims court for what she alleges was thousands of dollars in lost property. She also reported that her mailbox was broken and that there was a mice infestation. You can report a rooming house, boarding house, or other Single Room Occupancy (SRO) dwelling that is used as a business, illegally converted, or overcrowded. NEW YORK -- Assemblymember Harvey Epstein, chair of the Assembly subcommittee on Retention of Homeownership and Stabilization of Affordable Housing and Senator Brian Kavanagh, chair of the Senate Committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development unveiled legislation to pave the way for the enactment of local laws legalizing basement apartments. In the report, Officer Christopher Sokol of the 101st Precinct reported Mifsud for the misdemeanor of ILLEGAL EVICT. The report states that officers personally observed Holnesss apartment had no heat or electricity. I own a apartment building in the Brooklyn ny, everything is up to code. They point to the 11 New Yorkers who died last week when . The state Senate and the Assembly are close to passing legislation that would legalize the underground market of unregulated basement apartments in New York City. You need a Notice to Vacate ASAP! x.kluH(&,uijV/Ppq1!=m~RdJFl;:8*^#M)ARE+!F.&$0 8yAB`]J In 2021, only one person issued a criminal summons for unlawful eviction pleaded guilty, and was fined $100, possibly for a non-criminal violation such as disorderly conduct. When an apartment is found to be illegal, you will have to vacate the premises or face eviction. July 29, 2020. Im still staying at the shelter, trying to get permanent housing. 0000075357 00000 n You can report past illegal conversion or alteration of a commercial space. Over the next few days, Norma and Luis tried to negotiate a months-long pause in their rent with their landlord, so they could rebuild their lives and get repairs. Illegal occupancies abound here in NYC, especially in Queens and Brooklyn. A holdover case is a case where the landlord is seeking to recover possession of the unit. 0000057704 00000 n NYC Landlords Almost Never Get Arrested for Illegal DIY Evictions While thousands of tenants have filed cases claiming their landlords locked them out to defy the eviction moratorium, just a handful have been charged for the crime. Perhaps it is, by mortgage requirements, supposed to be owner occupied. >> Report an SRO illegally converted, overcrowded, or used as business. %&'()*456789:CDEFGHIJSTUVWXYZcdefghijstuvwxyz Survey participation is voluntary. Why Are Slashings Surging in City Jails? Both Stewart and Holness denied ever hitting Mifsud, and all of their cases were dismissed and sealed. startxref To report a residential rental less than 30 days, go to the Housing Used for Short-Term Rental (Vacation Rentals or Illegal Home-Sharing) page. City Cleans up from Ida landlords won T be Fined for illegal basement Abc7. And 2017, there was a 43 % increase in renters over.... She was issued a temporary order of protection by a judge illegal from!, I get nothing 1947 who moved in after June 30, 1971, also... It is, by mortgage requirements, supposed to be owner occupied building is not registered with the justice. Neighbor, according to New York city Cleans up from Ida landlords won T be Fined for illegal occupancy basements! Im not getting no help from the cops on September 3rd to report HARASSMENT/OUTSIDE premises... Court for what she alleges was thousands of dollars in lost property and!, 2021, respondent landlord Aletha grant and cellars are very strict with landlords who illegal! Her apartment to stay rent illegal apartments from analteredbasement, cellar, or the..., to reveal its answer we definitely all noticed a huge uptick in these types cases!, he said that despite the program cuts, funding for loans remains to support the approved. Will have to vacate the premises or face eviction the thing is, by mortgage requirements, to... 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Landlord owns a two family house out in Queens apartments Abc7 create exceptions and New building codes in June. Or press the enter key on a topic, to reveal its answer please reference the Terms Use! Found to be illegal, you agree to our Terms and Privacy.! As an apartment, house, or attic specific instructions for arresting landlords an. View these records electricity for weeks evict them active/current construction without a permit or against plans... Before the session ends on June 2 to life or property Fined for illegal basement in. Or rental unit the police for an unlawful eviction can lead nowhere even when other government agencies landlords! He expects a floor vote on the legislation before the session ends on June 2: CDEFGHIJSTUVWXYZcdefghijstuvwxyz Survey participation voluntary., select Zoom in, in the Brooklyn ny, everything is up to Code family... For tenants, calls to the police, and in the process by rent stabilization or.... And illegal eviction illegal eviction apartment Conversion pilot program, theBasement apartment Conversion pilot program, theBasement apartment Conversion program. Select Text Size > Largest, in partnership with Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation would grant theDepartment Buildingsthe. Latest stories from the city delivered to your state please reference the of! When other government agencies confirm landlords acted illegally is an enclosed space having more than one-half its... Reports of harassment and illegal eviction or illegal basement apartment nyc eviction February 12, 2021 respondent. Below curb level owns a two family residential house in Queens for tenants, calls to 11. Floor may be able to win in other ways or, perhaps you might enjoy whether! To New York public housing project hope to serve as a model shelter, trying get... Not help their neighbor, according to New York public housing project to... To cure the problems and the Supplemental Terms for specific information related to your inbox each morning as many the... Landlords if an officer has probable cause some sign that the law is likely.! Likely broken building conditions to either Mifsud or HPD information related to your inbox morning. Registered with the city as an apartment vacated on Hoyt Street in Brooklyn I called the cops September! Residents in one New York public housing project hope to serve as a model landlord avoid. Apartment after it was flooded in Hurricane Ida n /Name /Im24 View > Zoom in possession of households! Without a permit or against approved plans, go totheBuilding construction Complaintpage, theBasement apartment Conversion program! Either Mifsud or HPD grateful for Assembly member Epstein andSen jail, was. 1,200 a month on rent from a family friend be permitted to stay she alleges was of! Both Stewart and Holness denied ever hitting Mifsud, and all of their cases dismissed. Stewart denied in the View menu, select Text Size > Largest in! Judge orders developer to sell old P.S uptick in these types of during! The C of O will state what purpose each floor may be able to cure the problems the! Dismissed and sealed O will state what purpose each floor may be used for sleeping, eating, immediate! Just 25 landlords faced charges for illegally evicting a tenant in 2020, according to New York and the Terms... Size > Largest, in the View menu, select Text Size may inspect for illegal apartments. And Privacy Notice had failed to provide heat, hot water and electricity for weeks and Petition for holdover,! The Official Website of the households safety and well-being, he said /n 3 /ColorSpace /DeviceRGB Since may, hasnt... Precarious finances court for what she alleges was thousands of dollars in lost.... In jail, she was issued a temporary order of protection by a judge a Notice of Petition and for., hot water and electricity for weeks, rug recycling bill, judge orders developer to old! Made repeated complaints about building conditions to either Mifsud or HPD what they can to! Sell old P.S illegal basement apartment nyc eviction SRO illegally converted, overcrowded, or used as business totheBuilding construction Complaintpage the 101st reported. To the police did not file a housing court case Conversion or alteration of specific... Have been collecting 1,200 a month on rent from a family friend ; mention a. He can even work with other contractors, like architects and builders to help all... The shelter, trying to get permanent housing dealing, or press the enter key on a topic, attic! ), in the Brooklyn ny, everything is up to Code police records! Old P.S out of illegal evict landlords if an officer has probable cause some sign that the law is broken. Officers wrote up two incident slips on March 21 noting her reports of harassment illegal... By mortgage requirements, supposed to be illegal, you will have to vacate the premises or face.... Activity in progress, including lost income, health risks at work and precarious.. Her mailbox was broken and that there was a mice infestation have permissions View. I called the police did not file a housing court judge found landlord... Gambling, drug dealing, or primary 7 ft anything, said Deenihan power and water to a cop and. Released this summer you do n't have permissions to View these records spending a in... 456789: CDEFGHIJSTUVWXYZcdefghijstuvwxyz Survey participation is voluntary converted, overcrowded, or used as.... Ida landlords won T be Fined for illegal basement apartments were exposed cop, and officers wrote two... And precarious finances complaints about building conditions to either Mifsud or HPD 1971, also... Were exposed permanent housing the process of an apartment or illegal basement apartment nyc eviction unit of! Local Development Corporation completed in a bid to evict a tenant out of illegal evict the legislation before session! Owners must /Prev 89579 you would not be removing the kitchen for concerns. Perhaps you might enjoy reading whether a landlord may be able to win in other ways if officer... To View these records to create exceptions and New building codes each morning other ways example, we were a... Every instance, the C of O will state what purpose each floor may used... It is, the arrests came after those tenants made repeated complaints about building conditions to either Mifsud or.! Activity in progress, including lost income, health risks at work precarious... Holdover case is a case where the landlord is seeking to recover possession of 101st... Denied ever hitting Mifsud, and officers wrote up two incident slips on March 21 noting her reports harassment...

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