Illegal Bathroom Fixture Violations in NYC

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Illegal Bathroom Fixture Violations in NYC 

The Department of Buildings in New York City is fairly strict when it comes to below grade habitable spaces that may be turned into an apartment or a fully functional living space, and it starts with the definitions of cellar and basement. A cellar is considered to be any below grade space that has at least 50 percent of its walls below-grade. A basement is considered to be any space that has walls that are more than 50 percent above-grade. Basements can usually be renovated into living spaces. Cellars cannot generally be renovated into living spaces unless certain conditions are met. To do otherwise, could result in a violation for having illegal bathroom fixtures.  

Understanding What Results in Illegal Bathroom Fixture Violations 

Illegal bathroom fixture violations are most often associated with illegal cellar conversions. The NYC DOB allows for recreation rooms, half bathrooms and other general purpose rooms in cellars, providing the ceiling height is adequate. What it does not allow for is full bathrooms. This means that a cellar can have a sink and a toilet but no shower or bathtub, and the presence of a bathtub or shower can result in a DOB violation, and the owner may face civil and/or criminal penalties. If there are tenants in the illegal conversation, they must vacate the premises immediately.  
When apartment basement conversions are flagged as being in violation of the New York City building code, it is generally for work without a permit violations. This typically means that the owner or landlord or an unlicensed individual performed the conversion work on the basement and installed walls, doors and bathroom fixtures without pulling the proper permits.  

Correcting Illegal Bathroom Fixture Violations 

Thankfully, all of these conditions can be remedied and you can have your DOB violation removed. The first step is hiring the appropriate professionals, like an architect and a licensed master plumber, like John Farr. If the violation is due to an illegal cellar conversion in a one or two family property, the bathroom fixtures may need to be removed and the space restored to its original condition prior to the renovation in order to restore the building’s occupancy status. If the violation is in relation to a work without a permit violation on a basement conversion, a new permit needs to be obtained and all of the fixtures and plumbing connected to the bathroom must be inspected. If any fixture or pipe does not meet code, it may need to be replaced before the DOB violation is removed.  
The good news is that John Farr can work with your architect and any other contractors needed for the DOB violation correction and removal, and he can help you understand why you got the violation and what needs to be done in order to have is successfully removed, including removing, replacing and installing bathrooms fixtures so that they meet all of the current building codes of NYC.  
To have your DOB plumbing violations corrected, call John Farr today at 917-324-2535. he serves all five boroughs of NYC. 

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