Posted by - on August 04, 2001 at 18:32:40:
In Reply to: does anyone know about illegal apartments? posted by louise on August 04, 2001 at 17:53:07:
You've brought up several things here, each merits its own response.
1) "Illegal" apartment usually means that the house has too many apartments for local zoning or a Cerificate of Occupancy was not filed for the apartment. What this means TO YOU all depends. I have seen "legal" apartments that look like hellholes and "illegal" apartments that are attractive and nice. For ANY apartment, you should inspect carefully before taking it, making sure there are not obvious problems with heat, electricity, vermin, or access (to name a few). Realize that in the case of an owner-occupied house, the owner, esp. immigrants, may just not want to bother with the registering for permits, etc. Also realize that "illegal" apartments provide badly needed housing in the city and help lower rents overall. That's why I'm a big fan of so called "illegal" apartments.
2) As for the apartment being RENT-REGULATED, start with the obvious. Is this pre-1960 construction, 6 or more units, never been renovated ? If YES then check with DHCR.
3) As for the owner paying income taxes ... fuhgetaboutit. You'll get no where playing this angle; it is irrelevant to you. The IRS does persecute harshly those who evade taxes, so what will be, will be.
4) Paying rent in cash ? Some small owners insist on this at the beginning, especially if they got burned with bad checks before. Why not pay on time for a few months, then offer to pay with a check -- its a lot safer for both you and your landlord.
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