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Conditions under which a judge will issue warrant to zoning building inspector to enter private property.

Rosedale, NY |

Would one anonymous complain of illegal basement apartment be satisfactory evidence for a judge to issue a warrant for entry without any other evidence.

Attorney Answers 1

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Dear Rosedale Home Owner:

If you have an illegal dwelling in your building, the inspectors will get in, at some point, and the risk to the homeowner in fines and penalties is too severe to pretend that the violation will not be written because there is only one anonymous complaint. Your own tenant may have turned you in or a neighbor, and the complaints will continue until you comply with the law. The risk to life and to property is too severe for this problem to disappear on its own.

Any landlord in New York City should be familiar with the potential high cost in evading the laws relating to legal conversion of existing dwellings and in creation of multiple dwellings without prior plans and city permits.

Just check out this schedule of penalties that may be imposed for violation of the city's code:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dob/downloads/pdf/ecb_penalty_update.pdf

Moreover, Queens, New York is the most likely part of the City for inspectors to be on patrol and investigate complaints about illegal dwellings:

See:

http://queenscourier.com/2012/queens-tops-city-in-illegal-conversions/

And:

http://www.queensbp.org/content_web/housing/illegal_apts.shtml

http://www.nyc.gov/html/hpd/html/owners/illegal-conversions.shtml

So do not be surprised if inspectors come back with a warrant.

This is the time to hire legal counsel to help you in restoring your home to lawful condition.

Good luck.

The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should try to avoid a bad outcome if you can.

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