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Ask C.Fortunato Your Own Question
C.Fortunato, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience:  Admitted NYS Bar, member ABA, NYSBA, NYCBA, QCBA, Licensed Real Estate Broker
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I rented a family my basement apartment on the 9th of january

Customer Question

I rented a family my basement apartment on the 9th of january and today feb 2rd they have a family issued which cause them to call the cop in turn I was issued a summon by the cop for unlawful basement occupancy.,code#27-2087 since I own the house I can I defend that summon.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  C.Fortunato replied 8 years ago.


You must be very upset about getting such a summons. This would explain why you didn't ask a question! What would you like to know, please?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
how can I defend mysely againstr that summons
Expert:  C.Fortunato replied 8 years ago.

I am going to give you an answer that you are not going to like. If you have an illegal basement apartment, the only way to defend against a summons for it is to make the apartment legal or to remove the illegality. You may and may not be able to make the apartment legal, as this will depend on a number of things like zoning, the physical layout of the apartment, etc.

It may be easier to remove the illegality. You will first have to evict the tenants, and then remove any items in the apartment that are making it illegal, like the kitchen, sink, etc.

If I have fully answered your question, please click on the "ACCEPT" button, as per your agreement with "JUST ANSWER." If you need further information, please let me know.

Thank you!


C.Fortunato and 2 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
even thought the summons was not issued because the tenant call the cop on me rather it was issued cause of problem between them.
Expert:  C.Fortunato replied 8 years ago.

Thank you for accepting my answer!


Yes - it is the same situation as when someone is pulled over for speeding, and also gets a ticket for not wearing a seat belt.

There are a lot of illegal apartments in Queens, but each of those landlords takes the chance that they may be found out, and are then issued summons. If the summons is not too much, you may want to pay it, and then take it from there. But you should keep in mind that any house insurance you have will not cover anything that happens in the illegal apartment.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
in your experience how you think the summons might be if i plead guilty.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
do you know how muchg the fine might be and is that count since is not even a month since i rented the plkace pklace to them.
Expert:  C.Fortunato replied 8 years ago.

The summons was a violation of a NYC administrative code. That particular code does not list a fine. If there is one, it should be listed on the summons. If there is no fine amount, but there is another code mentioned, give me that code # XXXXX I can look it up to see if any fine is called for in that code.

If there is no fine amount on the summons, you will probably be ordered to correct the violation. Refusal to correct would result in contempt of court.

It does not matter that you rented the place for less than a month as far as the summons goes. Keep in mind, though, that an illegal basement apartment does not have to have tenants to be illegal, or for there to be a violation.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
The only thing that I see that look like a code is on the narative part of the summons# XXXXX 4722.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I have been waiting for an answer for the only thing that I see that look like a coe in on the narative part of the sommons is sprint4722
Expert:  C.Fortunato replied 8 years ago.
Someone at the buildings department said the police were not supposed to issue summonses for that type of complaint - the buildings department is supposed to issue those summonses. The woman at the buildings department did not know what, if any, fine there is for it, and said to call the precinct on the ticket.