Bill that could help curb illegal conversions signed into law by mayor

Earlier this week, a bill that could help curb illegal conversions was signed into law by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The bill, Intro 1218-A, also known as the Aggravated Illegal Conversion Bill, raises the stakes for those who allow three or more illegal dwelling units to be created within one structure due to the dangers it causes to tenants — an issue that has run rampant in neighborhoods like Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst and beyond.

“I was pleased to have my Aggravated Illegal Conversions bill signed into law by Mayor de Blasio earlier this week at City Hall,” said Councilmember Vincent Gentile, who introduced the bill into the council in June of last year. “This bill will create a $15,000 penalty for each illegally partitioned unit that is three or more units above the Certificate of Occupancy. The imposed fine will constitute a lien on the property that if unpaid for one year can be sold by the city. Additionally, this bill will equip the Department of Buildings with the tools necessary to obtain a warrant to gain access to a suspected illegal conversion.”

The bill became law on Tuesday, May 30.

“This legislation has taken us on a year’s long voyage and I want to express my sincerest gratitude to all of those who have helped steer this ship to port,” said Gentile.

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