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That door ...

Posted by chelsea on September 16, 2000 at 11:02:04:

In Reply to: CofO issues, Credit Records, Evictions posted by MikeW on September 15, 2000 at 16:43:03:

A certificate of occupancy, issued according to requirements set out in the building code, must be amended if there's a change of "use or egress." If a door is created allowing nightclub patrons access to a residential building, it seems both have changed. I just can't believe that would be legal. Even if it were, the actual construction would have to comply with the code, as far as fireproofing, the lock, etc. are concerned. The building code applies to the structure itself, so it doesn't matter what time of the day the inspector comes. The inspector just has to see the door, not anyone going through it.

Theoretically, if the building has no valid c of o and hazardous conditions exist, the landlord cannot charge rent (or recover unpaid rent from a rent strike), so that might be worth looking into in this case.


: Anyway, as far as the door to the nightclub, if the space it's in is commerical, I don't think it would be a problem with the C or O. Neither would the door. The door may be a building code issue (something different from the C of O). I would try to get the Buildings Dept down to do an inspection. When the inspector is their, point out everything you can think of. The problem with this strategy is that they'll come during business hours when the door is locked, and not see the problem, which is occurring at 2:00AM. The door should be part of you housing court action.

: As far as the question about credit reports and evictions, I don't think evictions will show up there. However, there are other databases that track court actions, an many LLs use these when determining whether or not to rent to a prospective tenant. Since you now already have a court action under your name, you may have trouble renting another apartment, regardless of whether you win or lose the case.

: : Sounds as if you really need to check out the certificate of occupancy. First, to make a case for substantial rehabilitation, the landlord needs to show the certificate of occupancy before and after the construction work. If he didn't get one to show the work, this should have been presented to DHCR as an important part of your case. (If he didn't, and it wasn't presented, you should try to get it admitted now. And ask your lawyer why it wasn't before. Perhaps think about hiring a new lawyer, depending on the response.) Second, even if he did get a proper c of 0 for any post-fire work, I think he would need one for a new door, particularly one allowing access to nightclub patrons.

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