Landlord Gets Additional Penalties
LVT Number: #24632
DOB issued three violation notices to landlord for failing to comply with prior notices to correct the illegal creation of a basement apartment. In the prior notices, DOB found that landlord performed work without a permit, erected full height partitions and installed water and waste lines for a three-piece bathroom and residential sink, and installed a gas line for a stove. Landlord claimed that the conditions existed when she bought the building and that she had taken steps to correct the conditions. The ALJ ruled against landlord and fined her $18,000. Landlord appealed and lost. Landlord couldn't present proof of a preexisting condition as a defense to a violation for failing to comply with the prior violation notice. Landlord in fact raised that defense in response to the initial violations and lost. ECB also found that the fines--$6,000 for each violation--weren't excessive, particularly since the penalty was aggravated by landlord's noncompliance with the original violations.
Villegas: ECB App. No. 1200522 (9/27/12) [3-pg. doc.]