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The Town of Southampton has concluded a week long Code Enforcement safety check of several residences and hotels throughout the Hampton Bays area and found numerous violations. Similar efforts are being discussed to address compliance issues throughout the Town.
Under the direction of Town Code Compliance and Emergency Management Administrator Steven Troyd, code enforcement officers inspected 42 residences and three motels in Hampton Bays between Tuesday October 10, 2017 and Friday October 13, 2017 and issued 215 code violations with fines ranging from $100 to $1,000 per violation. Some of those violations include overcrowded housing, illegal rentals, non-functioning smoke and CO detectors, blocked emergency exits, excessive vehicles, parking in the front yards and illegal conversions from single family homes to multi-family dwellings.
“These violations could endanger the lives of the residents living in unsafe conditions,” said Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman. “This will not be tolerated in the Town of Southampton.”
The Strategic Code Compliance Enforcement Operation issued violations against 28 landlords, including a repeat offender who was convicted in June for failing to secure rental permits for 8 properties he manages.
“Not every property was in violation,” said Mr. Troyd. “In fact, 17 properties had no violations.” “Many of the violations found can be easily fixed and we are working with some of the landlords. But this should be a warning to all landlords throughout the Town, make sure you are in compliance with all Town codes or you will face fines or incarceration,” said Troyd.
During the operation, code enforcement officers conducted “knock and announce” methods to conduct safety inspections. No forced entry was used at any of the locations. In several instances, the inspections were supported by court approved search warrants. The effort involved coordination with the Southampton Police Department and the Town Fire Marshall. “We anticipated that many of these residences would include families with children so we worked closely in planning with school personnel and child protective services,” said Troyd.
The Suffolk County Department of Social Services was on standby during the operation, but the department was not needed, no one was removed from any of the premises.
Landlords are being informed about violations and notified to appear in Southampton Justice Court at a later date. Follow-up visits to each of the sites found in violation are being planned where code officers will conduct future inspections coordinated with landlords to ensure compliance.
“Hampton Bays is not the only area we are concerned about in the Town,” said Supervisor Schneiderman. “We will be checking for code violations in other areas of the Town to make sure occupants are safe.”