Landlords Hit With Major Fines For Illegal Transient Conversions

David Brand

Two Queens landlords were hit with major penalties totaling tens of thousands of dollars for the illegal conversion and transient use of their buildings.

The Department of Buildings issued their monthly enforcement action bulletin last week and two of the largest fines went to Queens property owners.

Building owner Melissa Sosa was fined $51,200 in penalties for the illegal conversion of a single-family home into six transient use furnished rooms, one single room occupancy dwelling and one furnished apartment, all with locking devices, at 33-13 98th Street in Jackson Heights.

HBC Corona LLC was fined $48,200 in penalties for the illegal transient use of 36 different apartments at 32-45 112th Street in Corona.

Amid an affordable housing crisis and pressure from hotel lobbying groups, the New York City Council has cracked down on the use of housing stock for Airbnb and other transient services.

In April, the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement fined a Manhattan couple $1 million for using websites like Airbnb to illegally list at least seven units inside Manhattan buildings, Politico reported.

Overall, the DOB penalized property owners more than $1.5 million for June violations related to illegal building alterations, illegal transient use of buildings, failure to safeguard construction and failure to carry out duties as construction superintendents.