U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > New York > New York City
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 04-05-2010, 01:42 PM
 
49 posts, read 143,250 times
Reputation: 61

Advertisements

Illegal Basement
Hello,

Can anyone tell me what would be the penalty for having an illegal basement apartment. Mind you, this basement apartment is above ground and has it's own basement.

What happens if you get caught? Do you get fined? Or, are you warned first, and then fined?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-05-2010, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Confines of the 101 Precinct
10,352 posts, read 18,805,565 times
Reputation: 3791
inspector comes to your house, if indeed the apartment is determined to be illegal, you are fined twice: minimum of $5000 by Dept of Buildings and another fine by ECB court. you are issued an ECB violation, which to get dismissed you either have to file with the Department of Buildings to reverse back to the conditions that match the C of O, or file a legalization application with Dept of Buildings to legalize the apartment, along with paying fines. very costly.
__________________
"The man who sleeps on the floor, can never fall out of bed." -Martin Lawrence

Forum TOS: http://www.city-data.com/forumtos.html
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-05-2010, 05:58 PM
 
16 posts, read 198,885 times
Reputation: 44
If you have a mortgage, you had better hope that the lender does not find out about this illegal apartment---because it is a technical default on your mortgage. The lender has the right to demand payment in full of the entire mortgage within 30 days, or they seize the building.

Also, the fire department can show up and fine you multiple times.

Also, anyone living or has lived in the illegal apartment can sue you for any health issues they got from being in there.

If someone dies in the basement due to carbon monoxide poisoning (likely in a cellar unit) or fire, or any other reason related to the house, you will be charged with manslaughter.

If there is a fire or anything else that happens to the building regardless of the cause, you will not have any insurance. The insurance contract has a clause which you have violated with a non-code modification to your building.

Illegal apartment is a very short term greedy thing to do that will in the end cost you way more than you ever got out of it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-05-2010, 08:27 PM
 
Location: Neither here nor there
1,810 posts, read 4,261,257 times
Reputation: 509
Even if nobody lives in the basement apartment? say for example a homeowner uses it just for storage and but with
a full bathroom and kitchen.

Not every homeowner who finishes their basement rents it out, some use it for extra storage space, as a wine cellar, recreation room ,etc. I don't see anything wrong with that scenario.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-05-2010, 10:53 PM
 
Location: Confines of the 101 Precinct
10,352 posts, read 18,805,565 times
Reputation: 3791
Quote:
Originally Posted by vantastic10 View Post
Even if nobody lives in the basement apartment? say for example a homeowner uses it just for storage and but with
a full bathroom and kitchen.

Not every homeowner who finishes their basement rents it out, some use it for extra storage space, as a wine cellar, recreation room ,etc. I don't see anything wrong with that scenario.
full bathroom and kitchen indicates habitable conditions, meaning that someone could live there. there is no reason to have a bathutb, shower, or full kitchen within a storage space, if storage is the true intent of the space. even with the example of a rec room, you are require to put the following note on your certificate of occupancy:

"rec room is not to be intended for sleeping or living purposes."
__________________
"The man who sleeps on the floor, can never fall out of bed." -Martin Lawrence

Forum TOS: http://www.city-data.com/forumtos.html
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-06-2010, 12:29 AM
 
Location: Neither here nor there
1,810 posts, read 4,261,257 times
Reputation: 509
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeventhFloor View Post
full bathroom and kitchen indicates habitable conditions, meaning that someone could live there. there is no reason to have a bathutb, shower, or full kitchen within a storage space, if storage is the true intent of the space. even with the example of a rec room, you are require to put the following note on your certificate of occupancy:

"rec room is not to be intended for sleeping or living purposes."
Thanks for clearing that up Seventh. If I remember correctly when my dad finished his basement back in the late 80's, the plumber who installed the gas boiler advised him to tell the inspector that he was going to use it as a wine cellar and to keep the door to the bathroom closed.

He did have permits for the construction work since he also switched from oil to gas at around the same time. He never did rent the basement out, it has only 1 small window and one exit towards the back of the house. Yes I know that would make it an illegal apt but nobody sleeps
or lives there.

In my opinion people who live in attic spaces face just as big of a safety hazard as people who live in basements.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-06-2010, 02:50 PM
 
49 posts, read 143,250 times
Reputation: 61
Okay, what if you, the landlord, decides to live in the basement (which, once again, is above ground and has three windows, two of them full-sized)? Is that illegal? Technically, you're not charging anyone to live there.

Would it be so bad to live in the basement, and rent out the two top floors? Again, this basement is not like the typical greedy-landlord type of basement. It actually looks legal, and it's fairly comfortable, albeit somewhat small.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-06-2010, 05:34 PM
 
982 posts, read 2,399,562 times
Reputation: 436
For some reason DOB inspectors frown upon a bathtub in a basement. A shower has more of a chance at being left alone. You might have to remove the tub. NO 5K fines. Other than that why should you, as the landlord admit to living there? No reason to incriminate yourself. It's up to them to prove otherwise and believe me DOB clowns have bigger fish to fry.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-06-2010, 08:07 PM
 
16 posts, read 198,885 times
Reputation: 44
What is legal is what you have a Certificate of Occupancy for, nothing more and nothing less. There is no wiggle room. If you want to have something else in you basement, get the building permits for it.

It doesn't matter who lives in the illegal unit. Its mere existence is the problem. Putting aside the DoB for minute, aren't you concerned that you have NO INSURANCE on your house because this illegal apartment exists? Aren't you concerned that you are in technical default on your mortgage?
I can't understand why you are even contemplating this. You are putting everything you own at risk. In the worst case you could lose your home, all your assets, and be put in jail (manslaughter). Why risk it???
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-06-2010, 10:43 PM
 
982 posts, read 2,399,562 times
Reputation: 436
Quote:
Originally Posted by gunt86 View Post
What is legal is what you have a Certificate of Occupancy for, nothing more and nothing less. There is no wiggle room. If you want to have something else in you basement, get the building permits for it.

It doesn't matter who lives in the illegal unit. Its mere existence is the problem. Putting aside the DoB for minute, aren't you concerned that you have NO INSURANCE on your house because this illegal apartment exists? Aren't you concerned that you are in technical default on your mortgage?
I can't understand why you are even contemplating this. You are putting everything you own at risk. In the worst case you could lose your home, all your assets, and be put in jail (manslaughter). Why risk it???
You're funny gunt86, OP admits he, the landlord is "living" in the basement. What is the definition of "living". Why would a owner of a building implicate himself and how could anybody prove he was "living" there. The only legal definition the courts accept is a lease that says the space is being rented as a residential apartment (a living space). What if I was cleaning out my garage and I got tired and layed down on an old couch I kept there. What if I fell asleep and a plane crashed into the roof and I burned to a crisp. Because I was sleeping on a couch would the insurance company not pay my wife because I looked like I was living in the garage? If an inspection of the basement reveals a bathtub, a violation might be issued for it's removal. The bathtub does not an apartment make. Hardly the kind of thing that brings on the forensic engineers seeking the arrest of the owner.

Last edited by modsquad81; 04-06-2010 at 10:45 PM.. Reason: content
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:




Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > New York > New York City
Similar Threads
View detailed profiles of:

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top