Investigation: Too Many Illegally Converted Apartments
Mayor Bloomberg and DOB Commissioner LiMandri recently announced the results of an undercover operation to crack down on illegally converted dwellings and hold property owners accountable for putting potential tenants and first responders at risk.
Beginning in May, investigators from the DOB searched the online advertising site Craigslist for apartment rental listings and posed as potential tenants in order to inspect buildings in all five boroughs. Investigators discovered illegal living conditions in 54 of the 62 rental apartments inspected, including fire safety hazards such as inadequate means of egress, untested gas lines, and single-room occupancies with locks on individual rooms.
Inspectors issued vacate orders to 33 properties where the conditions posed an immediate threat to public safety, and fines to the remaining properties. A total of 104 violations were issued to property owners, with large penalties ranging from $6,000 to $25,000.