New York City condo owner is caught converting one apartment into NINE illegal micro units by cutting it in half horizontally with ceilings as low as 4 1/2 feet and renting it out for $ 600 a month
- Landlord Xue Ping Ni had horizontally divided his 634 square meter flat in Manhattan to rent out nine micro units
- The units were raided Wednesday and closed by the city department of buildings and tenants had to evacuate
- Ni was fined more than $ 144,000 for the lack of sprinklers, proper electrical, structural and sanitary permits
- Another landlord in the same Lower East Side building also appeared to have the same schedule by creating multiple units
- The ceilings were as low as 4 1/2 feet and renters were charged up to $ 600 a month for the illegal spaces
- The scene was similar to the 1999 indie film Being John Malkovich with a small 7th 1/2 floor in a Manhattan office
A condo owner in New York City has been caught converting one apartment into nine separate units to rent for as much as $ 600 a month.
Landlord Xue Ping Ni had split his 634 square foot flat in two horizontally, creating a new floor between the fourth and fifth, to rent to 11 tenants on the Lower East Side of Manhattan with ceilings of just 4 1/2 foot.
The units on 165 Henry Street were raided and closed on Wednesday by the city's Department of Buildings and Ni was fined more than $ 144,000 for the lack of sprinklers and proper electrical, structural and plumbing permits.
A photo shows a city inspector on his knees to enter the micro unit.
Manhattan councilor, Ben Kallos, said it was a scene similar to the 90s indie film Being John Malkovich, which depicted a 7th 1/2 floor in a Manhattan office.
An inspector can be seen on Henry Street 165 on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where a landlord illegally split his apartment into nine micro units to rent for 11 people
Landlord Xue Ping Ni had divided his 634 square meter Manhattan flat in half to rent out nine micro units
From the street you could see air conditioning units that were installed on both the top and bottom of floor-to-ceiling windows
& # 39; This is just the room from the movie Being John Malkovich, & # 39; said Kallos. & # 39; It was funny in fiction, but a horror story in real life. & # 39;
Condo owner Ni had even placed bubble wrap in the units to prevent tenants hitting their heads on pipes.
Inspectors said there was an illegal bathroom in the unit.
A second apartment in the same building was also caught because it had a similar design.
Unit 701, which Ni has mentioned as his address in the past, but now owned by Jing Ya Lin, was let to 11 tenants.
From the street you could see air-conditioning units that were arranged for one unit at the top and bottom of the windows.
& # 39; I have never seen air conditioners stacked on top of each other – five air conditioners in three windows, & # 39; Kallos told the New York Post.
& # 39; I can't imagine that so much air conditioning is needed in one apartment, so if someone sees this on the street, that should be more than enough for the Department of Buildings to investigate that apartment. & # 39;
The scene was similar to the 1999 indie film Being John Malkovich with a small 7th 1/2 floor in a Manhattan office
The ceilings were as low as 4 1/2 feet and renters were charged up to $ 600 a month for the illegal spaces
City reports show that Lin bought the 643 square meter apartment in September 2015 in an off-market deal.
Lin received 10 violations from the Department of Buildings.
And on Friday several tenants were seen who left the building with suitcases while the units were being evacuated.
The tenants received immediate assistance with the relocation of the American Red Cross.
"Every New Yorker deserves a safe and legal place to live, so we are committed to tracking down dangerous firetops and instructing landlords to make these apartments safe", the NYC department said in a statement .
& # 39; Tenants who live in shortened and windowless housing units such as these pose an extreme danger to their safety, as well as the safety of their neighbors and first responders – a danger that cannot be tolerated in our city. & # 39;
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