Bronx, NY asked in Real Estate Law for New York

Q: I received a Buildings Department complaint about an illegal basement apartment being rented.

First I have no tennant's. Secondly I the owner occupy the apartment and have been for almost 30 years with no complaints. When my parents and aunt & uncle purchased the house the apartment was already there from the previous owner. When the previous owners purchased the house from the original owner the apartment was already there which would be well over 50 years with no complaints. I researched DOB website and I see every house on the block has the same complaint on the same day. It looks like the surrounding blocks as well. They want me to setup an appointment for inspection which I haven't done as yet. This seems like a money grab by the city. The original C O from 1963 states 2 family then cellar/storage. The Dept. Of Finance has the house C O 3 Family. Not sure as what to do or what my rights are if any?

Related Topics:
2 Lawyer Answers

Elaine Shay

  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Any building in NYC that is used or designed to be occupied as three separate living units is considered a multiple dwelling and must maintain a multiple dwelling registration. However, if the property is a legal two-family it is not eligible to file a multiple dwelling registration and the use of the third unit would be considered a violation. It does not matter whether the third unit is occupied by an owner or tenant but simply that it is being used or is intended to be used as a third living unit. Depending upon the history and structure of your building, you may be able to change the Certificate of Occupancy to conform your use of the property but will likely need the assistance of professionals to do so.

Vincent Gallo

  • Staten Island, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: In New York City, the Department of buildings records control over the New York City Department of Finance classifications.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.