What is an illegal apartment?

Asked By: Braudilia Pridannikov | Last Updated: 30th April, 2020
Category: real estate real estate renting and leasing
4.9/5 (353 Views . 30 Votes)
Defense # 12 says: “The apartment is an illegal apartment.” When an apartment is illegal, the space should not be used to live in, a landlord or owner can't collect rent. But, the most common of all illegal apartments are in the basement of a building.

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Similarly, it is asked, what is the fine for an illegal apartment?

Landlords face fines of up to $15,000 if they are caught renting illegal space.

Also Know, can a landlord evict you from an illegal apartment? If your apartment is illegal, you are not required to pay any rent, but your landlord can still evict you (not for nonpayment of rent, but to cure the illegality of your residing in an illegal apartment).

One may also ask, what is an illegal rental unit?

An illegal rental property is a much bigger issue, for both potential tenants and the owners. If the rental unit is found out to be illegal by authorities it will also mean that the tenant must find another place to live, so the risk of being evicted with no warning is very real.

How do I know if my basement apartment is legal?

In short, if a listing indicates that a property has a retrofit basement apartment, it must meet municipal bylaw requirements, have a Certificate of Compliance to verify that it has passed fire and electrical inspections, and be registered with Municipal Property Standards.

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What if I live in an illegal apartment?

When an apartment is illegal, the space should not be used to live in, a landlord or owner can't collect rent. So, when you are being sued for failing to pay rent, it is a defense to the nonpayment case if you live in an illegal apartment. Basement Apartments: not all basement apartments are illegal.

How can I ruin my landlord's life?

7 Steps for Fighting – and Beating – a Bad Landlord
  1. Start a written record. The problems with my landlord started almost immediately after I moved in.
  2. Check your lease agreement. If your landlord agreed to something in your lease, he has to follow it.
  3. Send written requests.
  4. Decide if you have a case.
  5. Seek legal assistance.
  6. File a civil lawsuit.
  7. Fight discrimination.

Who do I report an illegal apartment to?

To report an illegal apartment, call the Office of Citizens Services at (631) 957-TOWN (8696). Please try to have as much information as possible when calling, including: address of the house.

What makes an apartment legal?

For starters, the apartment is illegal if the space is used in a manner beyond what the building permit specifies. For example, commercially zoned units cannot be rented as residential spaces. Cellars, commonly found in single family homes, are not zoned as residential dwellings and therefore are illegal to rent out.

What are the requirements for a legal basement apartment?


As a rule, a basement apartment's minimum ceiling height must be 6 feet 5 inches; its entrance door must be at least 32 inches by 78 inches; bathrooms require either a window or an exhaust fan; and if there is a parking spot for one of the units, there must also be a parking spot for the other unit.

Is it bad to live in a basement apartment?

Health risks to tenants
Some health risks to people who live in basements have been noted, for example mold, radon, and risk of injury/death due to fire. Presence of mold can lead to "respiratory symptoms, respiratory infections, allergic rhinitis and asthma", as well as personal belongings being contaminated by mold.

What constitutes a legal apartment?

Legally, an in-law apartment must have its own entrance, kitchen, bathroom and living space. Common space, such as laundry rooms and living rooms, are usually allowed.

What makes a unit illegal?

Illegal units are dwellings that do not have the required Certificate of Occupancy, which is a document that certifies that a residential building complies with all state and local building codes and is safe to live in. An illegal unit is also sometimes referred to as unwarranted, non-conforming, or unpermitted.

What a landlord can and Cannot do?


A landlord cannot refuse to rent to persons in a protected class. A landlord cannot provide different services or facilities to tenants in a protected class or require a larger deposit, or treat late rental payments differently. A landlord cannot end a tenancy for a discriminatory reason. A landlord cannot harass you.

Is it illegal to rent a room?

If the building in question isn't officially designated as an SRO or hotel, it is illegal for landlords to rent individual rooms to tenants for a number of reasons, including that it could allow landlords to evade the maximum rent permitted by the Rent Stabilization Law and Code.

Can I sue my landlord for back rent?

Typically, tenants sue their former landlords after they've moved out, usually over security deposits or another financial matter. However, sometimes you have to file a civil suit to get the attention of your current landlord. For example, if your landlord won't make repairs, you may need to sue.

Can you rent an apartment without a certificate of occupancy?

In most cases, renting or allowing occupation of a building without an occupancy certificate is a violation of local building codes, which are enforced by the buildings inspector or planning department.

Can an apartment complex enter without permission?

Landlords and Trespassing
In all states, a landlord can enter the property without notice or permission if there is an emergency. For example, if a burst pipe in your apartment is leaking into the unit downstairs, your landlord may enter or send someone from the maintenance crew to enter your home if you're not there.

How do I sue my landlord for illegal eviction?


You can use illegal eviction as a defense or counter-suit to the eviction lawsuit being considered by your landlord. You can also sue for illegal eviction on your own in civil court or small claims court by filing a complaint that states exactly what your landlord did that was illegal, and how it caused you damage.

What is a legal triplex?

The whole property parcel is deeded with two, three, or four living units. Each unit has the same amenities you'd find in a typical single-family home. By extension, a triplex is a building with three separate living units and a fourplex or a quadplex has four separate living units.

Is it illegal to live in a business?

To live in your business space legally, it would need to be zoned both for business and residential use. You or your landlord could risk being fined by the local building and zoning office.