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Dyker Heights

Second illegal conversion vacate order in eight days issued in Dyker

After an immediate vacate order placed on an illegally converted home in Dyker Heights left more than 30 residents displaced earlier this month, another home nearby was issued a partial vacate order following multiple complaints, according to the Department of Buildings and the Fire Department.

According to the DOB, a house at 6921 Seventh Avenue in Dyker was issued the vacate order on the morning of Friday, August 12 after a DOB inspection determined that the building was illegally converted from a two-family home into a three-family home.

The building’s owners had illegally constructed an apartment in the basement of the building, determined by the DOB to be an imminent safety hazard. It is to that apartment that the vacate order applies.

According to the DOB and FDNY, complaints against the building date back to June 6, 2016, when it was reported to have been converted from a two-family home into a five-family home with an apartment added to the first and second floors. A subsequent complaint issued on June 15 stated a similar violation, and was followed by the most recent complaint on August 12.

The order comes barely a week after inspectors from the DOB and FDNY found a two-family home at 6705 Seventh Avenue to have been illegally converted to a five-family home. More than 30 residents were left displaced after the raid, which found the home to be wrought by a multitude of safety hazards.

“Illegal conversions routinely puts the residents of the properties and the surrounding communities at risk due to faulty construction and overcrowding. Bad actor landlords and developers must be heavily penalized for subjecting their tenants to these harmful living situations,” noted Councilmember Vincent Gentile, who has introduced legislation in the City Council that would establish a brand new type of violation titled “Aggravated Illegal Conversion,” and target “bad-actor” landlords. The property at 6921 Seventh would not qualify as an aggravated illegal conversion under the legislation — which applies to a conversion with three additional apartments — because only one additional apartment was added.

Earlier this summer, a group of elected officials banded together outside of 928 Bay Ridge Parkway – just one of many suspected illegal conversions in the area – to join Gentile in introducing the legislation aimed at combating the citywide issue, and creating new criteria from which to act on it.

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