Three landlords slapped with six-figure fines for carving up buildings

Controversial owner Ved Parkash among those docked $100K or more in February

132-05 Avery Avenue, 902 55th Street in Borough Park and 750 Grand Concourse. (Google Maps)
132-05 Avery Avenue, 902 55th Street in Borough Park and 750 Grand Concourse. (Google Maps)

Three landlords trying to pack people into residences like sardines were hit with big fines by New York City’s Department of Buildings, the agency announced Wednesday.

The fines, each exceeding $100,000, were part of nearly $2 million in penalties handed down for illegal building and construction in February.

Controversial landlord Ved Parkash was fined $105,000 for illegally creating three new housing units and for “adding single-room occupancies in various apartments.”

SRO units typically lack a bathroom, kitchen or shower, as their occupants share such facilities with other households — an arrangement outlawed ages ago in New York City. Reached by phone, Parkash denied adding SRO units to any of his buildings.

Parkash owns at least 10 multifamily buildings in the Bronx, including the 101-unit 750 Grand Concourse. He has appeared frequently on the “worst landlords” list released annually by New York’s public advocate.

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The buildings agency views fines as both a punishment and a deterrent.

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The most severe penalty in February was $380,500 issued to the owner of 902 55th Street in Borough Park, Brooklyn, after inspectors reported that the two-family house had been converted to 19 single-room occupancies with 24 beds.

Minsu Lin signed the deed for the Brooklyn property when the limited liability company 902 55th Street purchased it in 2015. Additional fines were issued for failing to maintain the property and for performing work without a permit.

In Queens, $302,500 in penalties were issued to Dechang Yee, owner of 132-05 Avery Avenue in Flushing, after building inspectors found the two-family home with a first-floor doctor’s office had been converted to house seven families.

Yee did not return a request for comment. Lin could not be reached.

Illegal building alterations accounted for the majority of February fines — 59 violations totaling $1.1 million in penalties. Failure to safeguard construction sites accounted for 39 violations worth nearly half a million dollars.

Another 23 violations were issued for illegal transient use of buildings, such as when tenants rent their apartments out for short-term stays, generally on platforms like Airbnb.