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Re: Discovered 'secret bedroom' behind fake wall. Can I knock down wall and use the room?

Posted by Anna on May 22, 2000 at 19:10:59:

In Reply to: Discovered 'secret bedroom' behind fake wall. Can I knock down wall and use the room? posted by Jay on May 22, 2000 at 16:25:42:

: No, I have not been reading too many murder mysteries... this actually happened. I have been renting a rent-stabilized apartment on the upper West side of Manhattan for about six years, and last week I discovered that there is an entire bedroom that has been blocked off with a piece of drywall (made to look like there is nothing behind it). From what I can see from a small hole, the room appears to be a full size bedroom with a window to the outside, in perfect shape (no skeletons are visible). It is definitely a room that is part of my apartment. Besides not understanding why in the world the landlord would have done this (wouldn't they want to rent higher due to more rooms) I'm wondering about my rights in this situation? If I knock down the wall, would it be grounds for kicking me out or raising my rent? I think not, but I'd like to know for sure before I do anything about it. If possible, please reply via email to Thanks!! Jay

It may have been boarded up by a previous owner or manager; the current landlord may not know about this. Believe it or not, 20 years ago landlords couln't give away apartments on the UWS: many gave 3 months free rent to entice tenants into rent stabilized apartments. Larger apartments were harder to rent: families were still moving out fast and single actors, writers, artists, teachers were brave enough to move into drug-infested neighborhoods. Many small parks were called Needle Park, including Verdi Square at 72 & Bway.

Is there a door to your apartment?: maybe it belongs to another apartment. Before you contact your landlord or do anything about that room, research the apartment and building a little more. Get floor plans from Dept of Buildings, get a Rent History and an Owner History from DHCR. And read this post and the article it links to:

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