Shady property owners have been putting tenants’ lives in danger and risking deadly apartment complex accidents in New York City. That’s the claim levelled against multiple owners and property management agencies by the citizen action group Community & Residents Protection Working Group. Last year, the organization reported that landlords across the city were filing fraudulent building permit requests, claiming that apartments were unoccupied during extensive renovations. Now, the city’s Department of Buildings is investigating those allegations.
If a building is occupied during renovations, property owners must file Resident Protection Plans with the Department of Buildings prior to getting approval for any permits. These plans have been mandatory since 1983 and aim to prevent tenants from being injured in apartment complex accidents in New York. Such accidents could include:
- Stairway accidents
- Falling object accidents
- Ceiling collapses
In the plan the property owner must address:
- Fire Safety
- Egress (the ability to safely exit the building)
- Physical Health Concerns
- Compliance with Housing Standards
- Structural Safety
- Noise Restrictions
In the past, building owners have been able to skirt these regulations by simply filing amended documentation if they were found to be in violation. Now, the DOB has been issuing Environmental Control Board violations, DOB citations and in some cases, criminal charges.
Recently, Timothy Hogan, the DOB’s deputy commissioner for enforcement, spoke at the annual Build Safe/Live Safe conference in Manhattan and stated: “in the last two years, we’ve been to 514 of those questionable buildings and we’ve issued over 1,900 violations and over 100 stop-work orders.”
However, with several thousand job sites around the city, many safety violations are simply going to go unnoticed because it’s impossible for DOB inspectors to visit every building in New York City.
If the negligence of the building owner or contractor in charge of renovations at your apartment building is responsible for your injuries, contact a New York City apartment complex accident attorney today. The experienced lawyers at the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel will get the compensation you deserve. Call (800) 734-9338 or (212) 385-1122 today.