LandlordsNY Briefing for May 12th

Intro 1218, which was proposed by City Councilman Vincent Gentile, has unanimously passed. The bill imposes stiff penalties on landlords for illegal conversions, which is when a landlord alters the interior of a building to house more individuals than allowed by the certificate of occupancy. Should the bill become law, each unit beyond legal capacity, the landlord will be fined $15,000. If the fine is unpaid, the property could be subject to a lien sale. Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign the bill into law.

While illegal conversions often exploit poor immigrants and create extremely hazardous conditions for residents and firefighters alike, some have argued that such a bill could stigmatize efforts to create new units from already existing structures. This could, in turn, squander an opportunity to create affordable housing and help property owners.

A recent report issued by the Citizens Housing and Planning Council revealed that legalizing basement conversions could create as many as 38,000 new units of housing.

BKLYNER has more.

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The plot of land that was once home to the Arthur Kill Correctional Facility will become a film studio. While Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan have all benefited from commerce generated by the film industry, Staten Island has long lagged behind. While some Staten Islanders will likely complain about more traffic in neighborhoods like Charleston and Rossville, many retailers and restaurants will probably see a spike in business.

Crain’s New York has more.

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In a Landlords New York Minute – A (Very) Brief Look Around the World

China is set to host the Belt and Road Initiative, a two-day summit that will outline how the world’s second-largest economy plans to invest in the infrastructures of other nations, which will allow Chinese corporations to penetrate into foreign markets that will not be accessible to U.S. companies; Indonesia and Chile signed two agreements to strengthen ties between the countries; Mexican beef exporters have begun to focus on Muslim markets as an alternative to the U.S.; the U.S. has agreed to sell the United Arab Emirates $2 billion in missiles; data indicates that Germany’s economy is gaining positive momentum; heavy floods have rocked the East African nations of Kenya and Tanzania; and South America’s left-leaning populists no longer have the support of indigenous minority groups. President Donald Trump suggested, via Twitter, that his staff would give the American people more accurate information if verbal “press briefings” were done away with, which implies the following: the president is not particularly good at managing his message or his employees in real time, the president acknowledges that his staff has given the American people false information, and the president considers the briefings to be largely a joke (why else would he use quotation marks when referring to “press briefings”?). Again via Twitter, the president threatened James Comey, the former director of the FBI, writing, “James Comey better hope that there no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” That “showboat” James Comey was fired for reasons that will probably change from the time this is written to the time it appears on the LandlordsNY site; Mr. Comey told ProPublica that there are complexities to the story that he’s not ready to reveal just yet; several top Trump administration intelligence officials told the Senate on Thursday that they had concluded that the Russian government did try to influence the 2016 U.S. election by engaging in data thefts and hacking; attorney general Jeff Sessions is directing federal prosecutors to charge criminals with the most severe crimes that are provable, and to seek the harshest penalties possible; Republican senators may not fight to remove a provision that would allow insurance companies in some states the ability to charge customers for certain pre-existing conditions; and Joseph Ponte will resign as New York City correction commissioner. The president believes that the navy should go back to using steam. Some details have emerged about a potential rezoning plan for Inwood; analysts estimate that it will take 43 years to investigate all of the Airbnb listings in New York City with today’s resources; and Republican mayoral candidate and Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis (South Brooklyn and Staten Island) managed to beat her opponent, Blank, by almost fifty points in last year’s election.

A Chinese woman stole a plant from a Mexican vegan restaurant in the Two Bridges neighborhood of Manhattan, a Florida man stole $300 worth of Red Bull from a Wal-Mart, and a 22-year-old Russian has been found guilty for inciting religious hatred by playing “Pokemon Go” in a church. Golfers think they’re better than they actually are. Atlantic salmon are appearing in the Detroit River, orcas are eating the livers of great white sharks, and yet another scorpion was discovered on a United flight.

Today is National Odometer Day. This is not a joke.

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