Inspectors can’t check out alleged home conversions, comptroller says

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The Department of Buildings’ Queens Quality of Life Unit has been unable to address thousands of complaints regarding illegal home conversions because inspectors have not been able to access private properties, according to an audit by New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson. The division received complaints about 8,345 properties during the 2008 fiscal year and was unable to access 39 percent, or 3,279 of them. In 23,410 inspection attempts, according to a press release from the comptroller’s office, inspectors were unable to gain access 67 percent of the time. An illegal home conversion could mean adding an apartment in the basement or garage of a home or dividing an apartment into separate units. TRD