Is this "Apartment" legal, or Illegal?

Asked by Chris Schacht, Orange, CT Sun Mar 15, 2009

I live in Orange CT in an OLD farm hands house. The house is about a hundred years old. When you walk in the front door the first floor is like a shed area. Then you go up a flight of stairs to a tiny apartment. (The stairway going up to the apartment is the only entrance or exit to the apartment) The heating system is ancient. There is a huge grate in the floor that you can look in and see a metal cylinder with a fire going. If you step on it you'll get a WAFFLE on your foot due to it being about 500 degrees. My question is, is this a legal apartment due to the fact that it is on the second floor and there is only one entrance or exit in the case of a fire.

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Suzanne MacD…, Agent, Morristown, NJ
Sun Dec 5, 2010
Really the only people qualified to answer your questions are your local building inspector and/or a lawyer. I know in New Jersey standards can be different for owner occupied multi family homes and apartment buildings and inspections may or may not be required depending on the circumstances. You may also be able to get some free advice from your state Department of Community Affairs.

How long have you lived in the apartment? If you are concerned about your safety, why did you take the apartment? And why don't you move? If it is unsafe I am sure the lease can be broken. I will also offer a word of caution, don't use this as an excuse to stop paying the rent until you know exactly what your rights are under the law. You could end up in more trouble than you are in right now.
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Joyce Skowro…, Agent, Oxford, CT
Sun Dec 5, 2010
Sometimes windows are considered an exit but the heating method is probably not up to code !!
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Drea, Home Buyer, Hamden, CT
Fri Mar 27, 2009
As an serial rentar in Connecticut and about to purchase a house (thank goodness) - I have dealt with many apartments and was told an apartment was illegal if it had only 1 entrance (fire hazard). Plus that scary metal cylinder seems like a fire might actually happen... Hope this helps~
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