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Work Done in apts without permits

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Work Done in apts without permits

Postby bjcc84 » Sun Dec 27, 2015 11:45 pm

As old tenants leave or die, the landlord is renovating and turning one bedrooms into two bedroom apts. The apt above and below me are already finished but no permits were displayed during work. The landlord told me there were permits. If permits were not applied for, and posted when they should have been, what action can be taken after the fact? The work seems to have been poorly done, as I can hear music and appliances through the kitchen wall of next door apt now, as well as footsteps vibrating through the shared wall and floor and dropped shoes etc. It is now as if I have roommates.

Thanks,
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Re: Work Done in apts without permits

Postby TenantNet » Mon Dec 28, 2015 1:10 am

Some work does not require permits. For example, plastering/painting, sanding (of floors), adding kitchen cabinets and some appliances like refrigerators ... do not require DOB permits.

But all plumbing work, electrical work and work that would add or demolish walls does require permits from DOB and approved plans. Some might say that some of that work, i.e., minor plumbing and electrical doesn't require permits. But even as such work is often overlooked, permits are still legally required.

Some LLs have permits but don't display them. Usually DOB doesn't care about that, but complaints should be made anyway in case other violations are uncovered. You can see if there are permits on the DOB web site.

We can't say you wouldn't have the new noise problems if the work was legal, but you can check to see if permits were issued.
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Re: Work Done in apts without permits

Postby bjcc84 » Mon Dec 28, 2015 2:59 pm

Thank you for responding. I see no record of permits on the DOB site, so will address that with landlord.
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Re: Work Done in apts without permits

Postby TenantNet » Mon Dec 28, 2015 5:29 pm

And remember, first, "addressing it with landlord" usually means giving the LL the opportunity to ignore you. At this point what is he to do? If you want to make a point, then get after DOB to inspect and place violations. But also remember that DOB will need to get access to the units in question and they can easily tell DOB that the tenants aren't home, or whatever.

As for noise, different tenants have different habits and will make different amounts of noise. Some can be mitigated if there's a rug or carpet on the floor. Many new leases require this, but LLs don't enforce it.
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Re: Work Done in apts without permits

Postby BubbaJoe123 » Tue Dec 29, 2015 1:33 pm

My hunch would be that permits would be required for this sort of work, if they're actually turning 1 beds into 2 beds - that implies moving or building walls, etc.

That said, not clear what the noise impact would be - it seems more likely that they've gone from a 1 bedroom with a single (potentially older) tenant to a 2 bedroom with 2 (likely younger, more active) tenants, more people around, more likely to play music, etc. Seems unlikely that renovations would result in a reduction in the insulation between units either horizontally or vertically.

In any case, if you want to pursue this, TenantNet is absolutely right, contact DOB before you contact the landlord. See what they have to say.
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Re: Work Done in apts without permits

Postby rentstubq » Sun Jan 31, 2016 2:23 pm

Also check with the department of buildings BISweb application and see if they are filing amended certificates of occupancy. If they've split up apartments (ie: increased the total number of units in the building) there is a formal process for that and associated paperwork, the failure to file of which is a big no no.
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