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Old 10-12-2013, 11:04 AM
 
4 posts, read 7,761 times
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I just received a notice for inspection from the NYC Buildings department siting an illegal conversion. I live in the top floor of a brownstone with my girlfriend. We have exclusive access to the attic which for years we just used for storage. We figured it had enough space and light (via a skylight) up there that we turned it into a bit of a man cave (futon, mini fridge, dart board, the whole 9 yards). No one lives up there and it's not a bedroom or separate apartment or anything. Besides putting down some carpet there was no construction or change to the structure, electricity, or anything up there.

Question is, when we reschedule the inspection, is there anything to worry about? Is this an illegal conversion?
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Old 10-12-2013, 03:02 PM
 
Location: Manhattan
19,146 posts, read 25,415,198 times
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Since you have no stove or sink I think you are okay.

But for safety's sake, why not take down the futon and the fridge, or at least take down the fridge and fold up and tie the futon. You can say that you bring it down for unexpected guests to sleep in your living room. If they question your carpet say that you use it for added insulation.

When the inspectors go away you can restore your man cave.

WHAT no 60 inch TV?
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Old 10-12-2013, 04:18 PM
 
10,248 posts, read 20,194,304 times
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I think I've read on this board that you do not have to let the inspectors in. I suppose if they have a warrant, you would have to let them in. But if they just knock, I don't think you have to. Does your notice include any fine for not scheduling an inspection? If there's any way to get out of letting them inside, I would try to get out of it. Who wants inspectors in the house, even if you haven't done anything wrong?
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Old 10-12-2013, 04:44 PM
 
6,474 posts, read 9,830,264 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henna View Post
I think I've read on this board that you do not have to let the inspectors in. I suppose if they have a warrant, you would have to let them in. But if they just knock, I don't think you have to. Does your notice include any fine for not scheduling an inspection? If there's any way to get out of letting them inside, I would try to get out of it. Who wants inspectors in the house, even if you haven't done anything wrong?
I've read that here too, but I can't imagine the inspectors just "going away" and forgetting about it, even after several attempts.
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Old 10-12-2013, 07:19 PM
 
9,141 posts, read 13,327,026 times
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I agree with Kefir King -- fold up the futon, take down the mini-fridge (or empty and unplug it), take the dart board off the wall. Now it's just storage. I don't think not letting them in will work; it'll just make them cranky and they'll find a way to demand entry.
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Old 10-13-2013, 06:34 AM
 
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The notice says we need to call schedule an inspection or they'll come back with a warrant. It doesn't say I'll get fined (yet) but I don't imagine they'd just forget about it and move on. It's worth a shot though (although it would be more convenient to schedule an inspection rather than them coming here unexpected with a warrant).
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Old 10-13-2013, 07:30 AM
 
Location: Manhattan
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Probably one of the other tenants reported your unit because he is pissed that you got the storage and he didn't.
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Old 10-13-2013, 11:11 AM
 
Location: NYPD"s 30th Precinct
2,409 posts, read 4,070,211 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henna View Post
I think I've read on this board that you do not have to let the inspectors in.
Ehhh, I've also read posts on here from people her fervently believe that specks of dust captured in a camera's flash are "spirit orbs", so you know, take everything with a grain of salt.

Really it sounds like you should be in the clear. It can't hurt to move the fridge and futon, but from the way you describe it, I don't see any reason why a "man cave" wouldn't be a perfectly reasonable explanation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kefir King View Post
Probably one of the other tenants reported your unit because he is pissed that you got the storage and he didn't.
Pretty much. Is there some other tenant that you've been having problems with? If so, you've found your cause.
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Old 10-14-2013, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn New York
15,110 posts, read 23,116,567 times
Reputation: 19555
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henna View Post
I think I've read on this board that you do not have to let the inspectors in. I suppose if they have a warrant, you would have to let them in. But if they just knock, I don't think you have to. Does your notice include any fine for not scheduling an inspection? If there's any way to get out of letting them inside, I would try to get out of it. Who wants inspectors in the house, even if you haven't done anything wrong?

I agree.

There is nothing here for an "inspector" to inspect.
No, I don't want you in my house, and no, I'm not answering the door.
My house, my rules.

*****sticks tongue out and stomps away*****


but, do you rent or do you own the whole building? If someone citied you as doing something "wrong" the inspectors might not go away. So if this is a multi family building, you might have to. To me, what you say you did, doesn't seem like a big deal, it is your space, why not? The best thing for a schedueled visit is you can "clean up" if necessary......
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Old 10-15-2013, 08:34 AM
 
4 posts, read 7,761 times
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What had happened is there was a fire in the backyard of the next building and firefighters had to get to my roof to survey the area. The FDNY asked if someone was living up there (which honestly, looks like it could be a studio apartment minus a kitchen, bathroom, or any plumbing), I told them no one was living up there but that I hang out up there and use it as an office sometimes. Well they didn't buy that and reported the "illegal conversion" to the NYC Buildings Dept.
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