Partial Transient Use of Building Creates Violations
LVT Number: #24360
DOB issued violation notices to landlord based on its failure to provide an automatic sprinkler system, failure to provide a fire alarm system, failure to provide exit signs, failure to illuminate exits, and failure to have ground-floor entrance doors swing in the direction of egress travel. The violations were all based on a finding that the building was occupied for transient use. Landlord claimed that the building was a Class “A” multiple dwelling with 38 apartments, and that only two tenants illegally sublet their apartments for transient use without landlord’s knowledge or consent. The ALJ ruled for landlord and dismissed the violations since they applied only to transient hotels, not apartment buildings. DOB appealed and won. As DOB argued, partial transient occupancy required landlord to comply with the cited exit and fire protection laws. In 2009, the Multiple Dwelling Law was modified to prevent the transient use of even a minority of dwelling units in a building classified as a Class “A” multiple dwelling. So DOB didn’t have to prove that the entire building was being occupied for transient use. The law was changed to prevent the illegal use of apartment buildings as hotels. It didn’t matter that landlord didn’t know or that the transient use was corrected after the violations were issued. Landlord was fined $7,400.
Mige Associates II, LP: ECB App. No. 1200383 (8/30/12) [4-pg. doc.]