"Wrongfully Accused, Rightfully Dismissed"
A building owner received a violation from a DOB (Department of Buildings) inspector for not allowing the inspector access to the building. The owner was subsequently issued a violation with a penalty of $2000. He turned to City5 Consulting for help.
After reviewing the statute, City5 found that it was the permit holder’s responsibility to grant a DOB inspector access: “It shall be the duty of the permit holder to cause the work to remain accessible and exposed for inspection.” The building owner who was issued the violation, however, was not the permit owner. Rather, the contractor onsite the day of inspection was the permit holder; it was his company that took out the permits to do construction on the building. This being the case, the contractor—not the building owner—should have received the violation. Therefore, the inspector had issued the violation to the wrong party.
On the day of the hearing, City5 was able to establish the inspector’s error in issuing the violation to the owner instead of the contractor. The judge dismissed the violation, and the building owner paid no fines whatsoever.
"Small Start, Big Finish"
An owner who had just recently purchased a building received an overcharge complaint from one his tenants. The tenant was paying $1800 per month, and the last registered rent for the apartment was $800, meaning the new owner was allegedly overcharging his tenant $1000 a month. The owner turned to City5 for guidance.
After consulting with their client, City5 learned that the building had been vacant when the new owner had purchased it. After buying the building, the new owner had gone on to do a gut renovation. Based on these massive renovations, City5 advised their client to petition to destabilize the entire building’s rent. Unbeknownst to the owner, the extensive work he had done on the building qualified him to make his case for destabilization based on NY’s substantial rehabilitation exemption. The owner then hired City5 to begin administrative proceedings with the DHCR (Division of Housing and Community Renewal), which as a body is responsible for general supervision, maintenance and development of affordable low and moderate-income housing. City5 requested the DHCR temporarily suspend the overcharge complaint until the court had ruled whether or not the whole building could be destabilized.
After completing and submitting the necessary documents and handling all correspondence with the DHCR, City5 was able to deliver above and beyond for their client. The DHCR ruled that the building qualified to be destabilized, and accordingly the initial overcharge complaint was dismissed. What started as a small endeavor—helping fight a single overcharge complaint—turned into a huge success—destabilizing the entire building.