Landlord Illegally Added SRO Units to Two-Family House
LVT Number: #22077
DOB issued a violation notice to landlord for illegally altering a two-family residence. DOB’s inspector noted that the building had two apartments and three SRO units. He described the bedrooms he saw on the third floor as having locks, televisions, beds, linens, toiletries, clothes, a coffee machine, and dry goods. All the SRO units shared a common bathroom and kitchen. DOB also submitted photos at the hearing. Landlord claimed that the third floor was rented to three people on one lease, and presented a copy of the lease. The inspector said that one of the SRO tenants told her he couldn’t go into the other tenants’ room without permission. Landlord also claimed that DOB’s photo of a combination lock was on the laundry room door, not a bedroom door. The ALJ didn’t believe landlord and fined him $800 for the violation plus per-day penalties, resulting in a total fine of $5,300. Landlord appealed and lost. DOB proved that landlord altered the third floor illegally to add two SRO units. Landlord showed no proof that the SRO tenants were members of one household.
Zheng: ECB App. No. 47907 (5/7/09) [3-pg.doc.]