Converting a basement into an apartment is a great way to earn some extra money and to help with the rampant housing shortage in New York City, but if you perform the conversion incorrectly without the help of licensed professionals, including licensed plumbers, electricians and building contractors, you could find yourself with an illegal basement in NY. You may even be cited with an HPD violation and faced with a stop work order.
What is an illegal apartment in New York City?
When we talk about an illegal apartment in New York City or what makes an apartment illegal, we are primarily talking about apartment conversions in basements and cellars. According to NYC Housing Preservation & Development a cellar, which contains more than half of its height below ground, can never be legally turned into an apartment. Basements, however, contain less than half of their height below ground and can be converted into legal dwellings, providing that all of the proper permits are pulled, the basement is brought up to current building codes for dwellings and licensed professionals are used to perform the work. When the proper permits and professionals are not used, you could receive one of many different types of violations.
HPD violations come from the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development. They typically center around the illegal occupancy of a basement or cellar. The good news is that a basement can be legally converted into an apartment and occupied, providing certain conditions are met for room sizes and heights and that all plumbing and electrical work is performed by licensed professionals.
Stop Work Order
If you are currently converting a basement into an apartment and an inspector determines that you are in violation of a construction or zoning code or any other applicable rule, you may be issued a stop work order, which means no work can be performed until the violations have been removed and the site has been reinspected.
Work Without Permit Violation
A work without permit violation means that work is being performed on your property and you do not have the proper permits in place. For example, if you are installing a new kitchen or bathroom in your basement, you would need to have a licensed plumber pull the proper permits for the plumbing work. Without the permits, the work is considered illegal and you could be forced to stop work until the proper permits are pulled.
Violation LAA Permits
LAA stands for Limited Alteration Applications, and they specifically apply to licensed master plumbers, piping contractors for fire suppression and oil burner installers. These permits are needed when plumbing work is to be performed but general construction work is not being performed, and the LAA1 form must be submitted prior to performing any plumbing work.
Correcting Plumbing Violations in Basement Apartments with a Licensed Plumber
If you need a licensed master plumber to help you correct plumbing permit violations and LAA permit violations and to correct any illegal plumbing work so that you can continue to convert your basement into a legally habitable apartment in NYC, look no further than John Farr. Mr. Farr has decades of experience in removing plumbing violations from commercial and residential buildings.
To learn more, call him at 917-324-2535. He is available seven days a week to help you.