The Department of Buildings is cracking down on illegal apartments by issuing fines to the agents and brokers who list them, the New York Times reported.
The fines start at $3,600 and can climb to five times that amount. Ten agents, including ones at Douglas Elliman and Halstead Property, have already been fined for listing apartments, the newspaper said. Elliman and Halstead declined to comment to the Times.
DOB officials warned that they might go after brokers who supervise the agents as well.
From January through March, inspectors posed as prospective renters, first through sites such as Craigslist and then on visits to 50 apartments deemed suspicious, the New York Times said. The investigation was called “Operation: Danger Included.”
The listings that landed the agents in hot water were in neighborhoods across the city, including Brooklyn’s Park Slope and Hamilton Heights in Upper Manhattan; all, though, were in the basement and most did not have the two exits required by the DOB. [NYT] – Mark Maurer