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Re: Is it legal 2 apts to be made into 1?

Posted by DK on August 26, 1999 at 18:30:50:

In Reply to: Is it legal 2 apts to be made into 1? posted by Judy on August 26, 1999 at 17:18:44:

: I'm in the very initial stages of talking to my landlord about renting two adjoining rent stabilized apts in my building, knocking down part of an adjoining wall, and making it one apt. I will be paying for all construction. Is any of this legal? Do my significant other and I have to sign two separate leases? Does this require special filings with DHCR or elsewhere? My landlord keeps mumbling something about additional expenses related to city paperwork? Anyone know the score or where I can look into it?

It is not uncommon to join two rental apartments. An architect or engineer must file plans with the Department of Buildings and the owner must obtain a new certificate of occupancy. This process adds anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 to the cost of the project. Whether there are one or two leases is immaterial. In either event you need to have a written contract with the landlord which clearly spells out the obligations of both landlord and tenant, including whether the tenant has the obligation to restore the apartments to their original condition upon the expiration of the lease.

It is also possible to avoid much of the paperwork by placing a door between the apartments without removing a wall. An architect or engineer must still file plans with the Department of Buildings, but a new certificate of occupancy is not required since there will still be two separate apartments.

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