Q: Is getting a tenant to sign something acknowledging that their residence not a legal unit a good idea?
I am currently an owner of a 2-family home in Brooklyn. I currently rent out the units, as well as rent to a tenant in the cellar. The cellar is not a legal unit. Having read some literature, I am aware that if a fire were to occur, I could be held criminally liable if the cellar tenant were to not escape a fire. The tenant is aware that the basement is not legal. I am interested in learning what preventative steps I could take to avoid criminal prosecution in a worst-case scenario. Is getting the tenant to sign something a good tool? How would I best prepare for this in the future in case I am charged? Is putting other real estate I have in an LLC a good idea?
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