March 17, 2014

Ithaca Landlord Fined $38,500 For Over-Occupying Property

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Ithaca Landlord Cheryl Beach was fined $38,500 and convicted of 154 counts of over-occupying a Collegetown property, according to the City of Ithaca.

Breach — the landlord of 403 Elmwood Ave. — was charged with violating Ithaca City code zoning law by allowing eight unrelated Cornell students to rent the property, when only three unrelated occupants were allowed, Ithaca City Attorney Aaron Lavine said.

The over-occupancy occurred over the course of a year — from June 2010 to June 2011 — according to a City press release.

The landlord was charged with one count for each day the apartment was over-occupied.

Lavine said procedural delays caused the verdict to be issued nearly three years after the zoning violations.

“Early in the process, Ms. Beach filed a legal action in State Supreme Court challenging the City’s ability to prosecute this case,” he said. “The City Attorney’s Office successfully defended that challenge, but it and some resulting procedural delays certainly contributed to the timeframe on which this prosecution was able to proceed.”

Beach was found guilty after a three-day trial in Ithaca City Court, according to the press release.