Tenants at many building in New York City and particularly rent-stabilized tenants are being endangered and harassed by negligent property owners that are allowed to start construction work after they asserted that their building was empty when filing with the NYC Department of Buildings.
Despite Mayor de Blasio’s blue print to improve the efficiency of the NYC DOB, and pledge to preserve and create rent stabilized apartment, tenants and some elected officials are complaining that the lack of enforcement has created a climate of lawlessness. A recent article in the New York Times explains how unscrupulous landlords and developers are defrauding the DOB with false fillings, endangering the life and safety of tenants and harassing them into leaving their apartments. The author, Mireya Navarro is providing numerous examples of cases where residents complaints were ignored or handled lightly by the Department of Buildings and owners were allowed to continue their work.
The Department of Buildings is aware of the false filling problem and has been working on upgrading their technology. Among the improvements, the DOB announced that it was about to launch Inspection Ready, a new online tool that is supposed to dramatically simplify compliance and reduce wait times when scheduling appointments for inspections. The system will include the ability to request and cancel appointments online, as well as view inspection results and documentation.