"Public vs. Private"
A building owner received a sanitation violation for garbage spilling outside their building. According to the inspector who had issued the violation there were “plastic cans in front...containing household waste, overflowing and spilling in the front yard.” Though the penalty was small—$100—it was the principle that mattered.
Being well versed in building codes and statutes, City5 knew that the issuing inspector had made an error. The administrative code used by the inspector referred to public places; within this statute public space is mentioned several times. In particular, sidewalks are referred to as designated public space that is to be kept “free from obstruction and nuisances of every kind.” In this case, the garbage was in the front yard. According to the statute, the front yard is not public space, and therefore the alleged garbage spilling into the yard was not obstructing a sidewalk or any other area considered “public space.”
At the ECB hearing, the presiding administrative law judge agreed with City5: the front yard does not qualify as public space. The judge went on to say that backyard as well as front yard space not used by the public were not subject to this sort of violation. Both the fee and violation were dismissed.
"Experts in Investigation"
A building owner called City5 because he needed access to a rent-stabilized apartment. The building had already sent numerous letters to the apartment’s tenant and had received no response. According to the building super, he hadn’t seen the tenant in months. The tenant’s non-responsiveness and apparent absence seemed suspicious, so the building owner hired City5 to conduct a Landlord Tenant Investigation.
City5 began by conducting a Tier 1 investigation in order to gather more details about the absentee tenant. From the looks of it, the tenant potentially lived in another residence and did not use the one in question as his primary one. If this were true, the owner would have grounds for terminating the tenant’s rent stabilized lease. The owner then hired City5 to do a Tier 2 Landlord Investigation, a more rigorous course of action that included among other things site visits and reviews of the tenant’s files. City5 was able to verify through several resources that not only was it very likely the tenant had another out of state residence, but also that he was mailing rent checks from this non-New York address. Once finished with their investigation, City5 prepared a full documentary report in which they concluded that it was highly probable that the tenant in question was not using the apartment as his primary residence.
Thanks to City5’s well documented research , the building’s owner was then able to independently verify City5’s findings: the tenant was not using the apartment as a primary residence. With this information, the owner began a proceeding in housing court. In sum, the City5 team used its expertise to establish the essential groundwork for their client’s case.