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Illegal Loft Tenants and Landlords Disagreeing on Loft Law

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Residents of illegal lofts did a victory dance in June when the governor signed an extension of the 1982 loft law, which has the potential to legalize illegal loft conversions in Bushwick, Williamsburg, LIC, and elsewhere. The only rules: lofts have to have been lived in for a continuous 12 months between January 2008 and December 2009, three lofts in a building need to have been occupied, and buildings must apply for legal status from the New York City Loft Board. Easy enough! Or maybe not.

At least not for the loft tenants of Bushwick's 360 Jefferson, who applied to the loft board in August. The landlords served eviction notices, the Times reports, and the Department of Buildings ordered tenants out in October due to fire hazards. While they were gone, the hot water was shut off, faucets and taps were tiled over, and shower drains were plugged with concrete. The tenants have since acquired a lawyer and hot water, but still no showers or legal status. On the plus side, say tenants' rights lawyers, some landlords have voluntarily applied to legalize their loft buildings under the new law. Which we're sure makes everyone at 360 Jefferson feel much better.
· Loft Law Has Some Tenants and Landlords at Odds [NYT]