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Re: Are Basement Apartments Legal?

Posted by New York Tenant on October 17, 2001 at 10:16:34:

In Reply to: Are Basement apartments leagel? posted by questionable on October 16, 2001 at 18:51:48:

See the case of Koroma v. Kempster in the October 17th online edition of the New York Law Journal. This was originally a small claims case on Staten Island, where a tenant of an illegal basement apartment sued to recover his security deposit.

Department of Housing Preservation and Development Must Enforce Vacation Order

Petitioner tenant sued to recover a security deposit for a basement apartment. The court, concerned that petitioner rented an illegal apartment, ordered an inspection of the premises by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). The HPD located four illegal basement apartments and ordered their vacation as being "unfit for human habitation." The HPD refused to take any steps to enforce its order against the occupants of an apartment who refused to vacate. The court ordered the HPD to take any necessary steps to terminate all illegal occupancies. The court said that the legislative intent of New York City Administrative Code 27-213 mandated the HPD to vacate dwellings "unfit for human habitation" and that it made no sense to conclude that a dwelling is any more fit for "human habitation" because a municipality "may" act upon the owner's failure to act.

Koroma v. Kempster, Richmond County (Staten Island), Civil Court, Judge Straniere

A subsription to the N.Y.L.J. is required to read the full text of the decision:

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