Posted by courtwatcher on May 03, 2001 at 19:12:45:
In Reply to: Re: illegal living in commercial zoning and dealing with firemen posted by Ace on May 03, 2001 at 17:34:46:
FDNY is not your enemy.
I have lived in a "commercial" building in NYC with no residential lease for 20+ years. Technically (per the Loft Law) the LL should have obtained a residential C of O 15+ years ago but somehow can't get it together to comply with the law. Yet we're still here.
We've even found that the FDNY can be helpful in getting non-code compliant situations corrected. We've called FDNY, had them inspect and violations were issued to the LL. This was also helpful in court proceedings to prove that the LL was not shouldering its legal responsibility.
FDNY won't move to get you kicked out of your home. However, FDNY doesn't want to get caught in a fire-trap, so if tenants in your building have made non-compliant alterations that could put tenants / FDNY at risk, then it is in everyone's interest to correct those conditions and bring the building up to code.
Normally this is the LL's responsibility; but if your building is not covered by Loft Law then that may not be the case.
Check out these websites:
Remember -- it's your home; you have rights.
Organize & Fight to keep your home safe.
: It's a chance you take -- if you're living somewhere illegally and god forbid a fire breaks out where you're at or a neighboring building has a problem then you will be found out, it's only a matter of time. Harrassment by officials is nothing new when it comes to this issue. The officials could turn around and report you and bust you over and over again. Who is to say, by the way, that it's just the firefighters? Perhaps someone in your neighborhood has noticed you there and just called them to find out if you're up to something. Who knows?
: Unfortunately, without a legitimate lease for a legitimate apartment, no one is going to have much sympathy for you, unless they're in your same situation. The courts wouldn't understand. If you want peace as well as rights, find a new real place to live.
: : Does anyone know what exactly the fire fighters can do to figure out if you are living somewhere you are not supposed to?
: : Can they break down your door or climb into your window if they want to bust you?
: : And once they discover that you are living illegally what is the next step? What is the best way to protect oneself from being caught????
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