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City Offers Chance to Register Illegal Private Elevators Without Penalty

By Shaye Weaver | July 7, 2017 11:41am | Updated on July 10, 2017 8:03am

SUTTON PLACE — After an illegally installed elevator plunged four stories inside a Sutton Place home and severely injured a woman inside, the city has announced a 90-day legalization program for owners of unregistered, private elevators.

For the next 90 days, homeowners who have unregistered elevators can legalize them for free with no penalty, according to the Department of Buildings.

Homeowners with elevators that need repair will be given "sufficient" time to do them, the DOB said in a press release.

Elevators — including dumbwaiters, platform lifts and stairway chair lifts — must be registered and have certificates of compliance from the DOB.

If they aren't registered and don't have the necessary paperwork, penalties can typically get expensive, ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 depending on what the inspector observes at the site, according to DOB's rules.

The move comes after an elevator fell inside a Sutton Place home in April, breaking a 62-year-old woman's spine and several other bones. That elevator had been illegally installed in the 1940s and hadn't been properly inspected or maintained, according to the DOB.

After the woman was taken to the hospital, the DOB issued a violation and ordered the building's residents to stop using the elevator.

"This preventable accident could have been avoided," the DOB said in a statement.

Those interested in getting their elevators registered should email the DOB's Elevator Unit at privateresidenceelevator@buildings.nyc.gov or call 212-393-2555.