Queens, NY June 4, 2012 -- In order to crack down on illegal housing arrangements that can lead to overcrowding, serious safety issues, and burdens on municipal resources, New York State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Queens) recently voted to support legislation (S.4285B) that would permit on-site inspections of suspicious advertised housing opportunities.
“All too often, unscrupulous landlords – taking advantage of limited housing options – will advertise apartments for rent in buildings or individual housing units that are already beyond capacity,” said Addabbo. “This is dangerous and unfair to the existing building occupants, tenants who may move into overcrowded, substandard housing, and neighborhoods that may become overburdened by an increased need for resources. Slumlords shouldn’t be able to brazenly advertise illegal housing, line their pockets with rental payments and then laugh all the way to the bank.”
Specifically, the legislation would enable municipal housing authorities and tax assessors to conduct on-site inspections of residential housing that is advertised or otherwise offered for rent and that exceeds the zoning certificate of occupancy. Owners of the housing will be served with notices of violation and provided with at least seven days to prove that they are in compliance with zoning and occupancy laws, or be subject to inspections of the property.
“We can’t allow the greed of some to override the need to abide by zoning laws, decent housing standards, building codes and other regulations that help to ensure safe and habitable homes for tenants and that provide for stable neighborhoods,” said Addabbo. According to the Senator, the issue of illegally converted homes is one of the more popular complaints forwarded by constituents. Addabbo believes this legislation would protect tenants and law-abiding landlords and lift burdens on city services that result from illegal housing arrangements.
The legislation was passed unanimously by the Senate and is under review by the Assembly Committee on Local Governments.
# # #
Judy Close, Press Secretary
NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.
15th Senate District - Satellite Office
66-85 73rd Place
Middle Village, NY 11379