What Constitutes an Illegal House?

  • First and foremost it is permitted for a reasonable number of unrelated people to live in the same house as long as there is no second kitchen and it is a not-for-profit housekeeping unit.
  • Second, most homes have C of O’s that indicate a one family use only. By creating another apartment it makes it illegal since two families will occupy the premises and the C of O is only for a one family use. Therefore, the use of the premises has been changed from a one family to a two family use which is not a permitted use in a one family zoned premises.
  • Third, the change of use from a one family to a two family is a violation because the use of the premises has been changed and is not consistent with the previously issued C of O which indicates a one family use only. So the change of use of the premises is a violation.
  • Not having and/or not applying for the proper C of O for a two family use is a violation. These 3 violations are Town of Oyster Bay ordinances which are listed on the summons issued.
  • A second kitchen is the most prominent violation most often cited. The TOB also has the homeowner remove the refrigerator and the cabinets in an attempt to deter the homeowner from restoring an illegal apartment.
  • The TOB also has the homeowner bring the house back to the condition it was before it was converted to an illegal apartment such as removing doors and wall that were installed to create the illegal apartment.
  • Basement apartments are given an immediate summons due to the fact that basements are considered uninhabitable both by the Town and the State of New York unless certain criteria are met, i.e. ceiling heights and proper means of egress in case of fire.

Illegal housing issues can be reported to the Town of Oyster Bay by submitting a
Code Enforcement Request for Investigation Form