In a city where space goes for a premium, people are willing to live just about anywhere—even underground. According to the New York Times, as of 2002, there were about 45,000 basement units housing 110,000 people—an estimate the Times admitted was probably conservative. More Info
According to New York City’s Building Code, a story is the portion of a building between the “upper surface” of one floor all the way up to the upper surface of the floor above it (or, for the top story, from the upper surface of the floor to the top of ceiling joists or roof rafters).
That being said, it’s not always so simple figuring out what counts as a story and what doesn’t. More Info
Renting out a basement can be an excellent way to collect a little extra income from what might have otherwise been unused space. However, not all basements can be rented out legally because of restrictions set by the Department of Buildings and Housing Preservation and Development. This post assumes that your basement meets basic requirements for habitation (click here to learn what those requirements are). More Info
Owners of homes with underground floors frequently ask if it’s possible to build another bathroom there. The answer entirely depends on whether it’s a basement or cellar. More Info
Illegal apartments are extremely common in New York City, especially in the outer boroughs. Although rents are often a good deal relative to NYC’s sky-high rents elsewhere, illegal apartments frequently have hazardous conditions that violate basic life safety standards set by the Department of Buildings. More Info