Home Buying in Bushwick>Question Details

Mollefyi, Home Buyer in Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY

Is a basement room without a window legal for sleeping?

Asked by Mollefyi, Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY Fri May 27, 2011

Help the community by answering this question:


Pease refer to NYC DoH:


A certificate of occupancy (C of O) is required for all "basement" apartments and that could show compliance with the minimum requirements for occupancy.

Not legal advice, I recommend you contact a real estate professional.

Oscar Pais
Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Bayside, NY
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 17, 2014
In order a basement to be a legal apartment and place for sleeping it must have a window.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 10, 2015
Do you own the basement? Its not legal if a tenant is sleeping there. On the other hand, as long as nobody complains your renting the space, its up to the person. If there aren't any windows , the boiler might be an issue for breathing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 26, 2014
For the basement to be considered an apartment it must be a legal apartment and part of the CO. For the room to be considered a bedroom it must contain a full size window leading to the exterior of the apartment. .. Good Luck and I hope my answer answers your question... George
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 10, 2014
Hi, I saw a basement apt in Queens that didn't have any window facing to exterior but it have a big sunroof windows, though it doesn't open for fresh air. Is that legal? Thanks.
Flag Tue Jul 1, 2014
In order for the bedroom to be legal you would need to have a window. In order to make the basement a legal basement you would need two exits that lead outside. Not a door that leads outside and a door that leads to the first floor of the house. So, in summary no. A basement room without a window is not legal.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 10, 2014
In New York the room in the basement should have minimum 1 window to be named a "bedroom" for sleeping.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 5, 2014
Actually a bedroom does NOT have to contain a closet in Kansas to be considered a bedroom but a window & privacy is definitely needed. Safety is very important in case of fire but they can call it a nonconforming bedroom/office if there is no window. That doesn't mean you should use it as a bedroom with no window- safety first!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 27, 2014
No it is not legal. Codes require windows to make it a living area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 27, 2014
Every room must have at least one window complying with the requirements of housing maintenance code 27-2062
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 27, 2014
No it is not legal. Zoning requires at least two windows.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 25, 2014
Avoid Apartments/rooms without windows or very small windows. These are often found in illegal cellar or basement apartments. Landlords will sometimes describe the ones with very small windows as “sunny” to entice renters. Every tenant should ask questions, conduct research and confirm whether the advertised living space is legal and if construction work was performed with proper permits.
Web Reference: http://www.clovelake.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 24, 2011
No I personally think it is a fire hazard and would like to hear others opinions of this matter My mother and I moved in to a two bedroom townhouse with three basement rooms that have no windows and are big enough to be bedrooms but where told they where storage space . As I asked previously I would like your opinions on this matter please do not send any spam it will be deleted right away .
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 24, 2011
If you see traffic coming in and out then those rooms are being rented. if you call the dept of buildings they will come and inspect. Especially if it has a separate entrance. gdluck!
Flag Thu Mar 29, 2012
Housing codes require a window (that an adult can go through) and a closet for the room to be a legal bedroom.
This is definitely a fire hazard since there is no way to leave the room if there is a fire in the hallway.
Are you looking at a house that is calling this basement room a bedroom?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 31, 2011
I don't think so ! Fire hazard and health risk. Buyer beware.If you are searching for a Brooklyn property check me out below!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 31, 2011
As a Realtor in Decorah Iowa We would not be able to advertise this room as a bedroom for sleeping would call it a den- study area - rec room, If this was being bought by an investor we would point out that it would not comply with being allowed as a bedroom for a rental situation /investment property and warn a prospective buyer of the risk of having someone sleeping in a room without proper egress in case of a fire.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 27, 2011
No it is not, A Bedroom has to have a Window, I believe that is standard for all states but in Florida it must have a Window
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 27, 2011
Generally basement apartments are not legal in NYC because they are a fire hazard. A legal apartment must have 2 entrances, or an entrance and an exit. If you are using it yourself (as an owner), then you may have some leeway. It also depends on how far above ground it is. Check the C of O for accuracy & the Building department as well as local laws.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 27, 2011
Any room in the basement can be used for sleeping but you should make sure that it is well ventilated. A window in new yok is required for the room to be a legal bedroom. There is not enough information to give you a better answer,, it also depends on if wer'e talking about a weekend or for an extended period of time. Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 27, 2011
The basement nees a CO as living quarters. If it's don't, the space is not leagal with or without the window.
Web Reference: http://www.cbshayovitz.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 27, 2011
Dear Mollefyi:

There are many things are are illegal but are commonly done such as spitting in the street or jay walking. I am not sure if there is a specific law regarding your question, a good real estate attorney should be able to answer that question for you. If you want, give me a call and we can discuss it further and I can even get my attorney on a conference call to find out.

Even if it is legal, you have to be careful because that sounds like a potential fire hazard!!

Mitchell S. Feldman
Associate Broker/ Director of Sales
Madison Estates & Properties, Inc.
Office: (718) 645-1665/ Cell: (917) 805-0783
Email: MitchellSFeldman@aol.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 27, 2011
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