Laws change. Building/housing codes change. Apartments get renovated. These things are all a matter of life in New York City, but how they intersect matters - especially for the tenants.
We represent a Tenant Association who organized a rent strike in an effort to compel the landlord to correct pervasive housing code violations. Upon investigation, the tenants discovered that their building had been altered since the last Certificate of Occupancy ("C of O"), from 1970, had been issued. More specifically, the 1970 C of O listed 53 apartments while the building currently has 60 apartments. When a landlord, absent requisite approval, as is the case here, alters a building they must have their building comply with the Building Code currently in effect. While in 1970 two independent means of egress from every apartment was not required, now it is. Here, the majority of apartments lack a mandated secondary means of egress which is a violation of applicable fire safety law and code. The NYC Dept. of Buildings has required the continual presence of fire guards as a condition of continued occupancy.