What People are Reading
- What a very sad and shocking
2 years 4 weeks ago
- Smart Meters
2 years 7 weeks ago
- 100 year old house burns
2 years 7 weeks ago
- Column 2-10 re Treason
2 years 17 weeks ago
- Radical Difference
2 years 17 weeks ago
- This activity is such a
2 years 25 weeks ago
- Okay Great we got a sign!
2 years 26 weeks ago
- Hate Crime a Sad Moment Indeed
2 years 27 weeks ago
More in Featured
Marcisso Paris unit may violate code
UNSEALED — This recently installed shower sits in a space formerly filled with a tub/shower. The plumbing code requires that the shower be sealed into the space.
PARIS — Once again landlord Vincent Marcisso may have code violations in one of his units ... this time in Paris.
The unit, at 36 High Street, is nondescript from the outside and relatively decent inside. However, recent work in the bathroom of the unit is not up to code. Specifically, an old tub and shower was removed and a small shower unit installed in the space.
According to the 2009 Uniform Plumbing Code (used by the State of Maine), Section 407.2, "Where a fixture coming in contact with the wall or floor, the joint between the fixture and the wall or floor shall be made watertight."
Instead, Marcisso has simply placed the tiny shower stall in the gaping, unfinished space.
Further, new flexible PEX piping has been used and, instead of putting the water lines behind the wall, they are fixed to the outside which could cause a burn hazard to small children.
Currently, there are no small children in the unit and it is not clear if the piping placement is also against code.
And both the hot and cold lines use blue PEX piping. Normally the hot water lines would use red.
Other issues the tenant has, that may not be against code but not fun to live with, include the need to turn the toilet tank water supply off and on in order to get the tank to fill properly, a 42-degree average temperature in the bathroom in the winter and non-working heat in 50 percent of the apartment, according to the tenant.
The heating issues may violate health and safety laws at the state level. According to Maine law, rental units and tenants have an "implied warranty of habitability."
Examples of landlord violations:
• undrinkable water
• no heat or too little heat in the winter
• a combination of problems, such as leaking ceilings, unsafe heating system, broken windows, and roaches
The heating system should be able to heat the living space to at least 68 degrees.
Although the building is old, and certain things not up to current code may be grandfathered and, therefore, not cause for intervention by the code enforcement officer, the new installation of a shower is not protected by a grandfather clause and is subject to being required to meet code.
Gerald Samson, code enforcement officer for the town, agreed saying that the new installation was not covered by a grandfather clause and should be up to code.
The tenant had called the town office prior to contacting the newspaper, and said Lynn Chammings, the new code enforcement officer, had told her there was no rental or housing ordinance in Paris so they could not do anything.
Samson said the tenant must not have clearly communicated the particulars. He noted the tenant would have to call back and explain clearly that a new shower was installed and was not meeting code. In that case, he said, they would inspect it.
Currently, Marcisso has 30 days to bring a Norway apartment building up to code or risk a condemnation procedure by the town. His 30-day deadline was issued at the August 9 planning board meeting which gives him until September 8.
The Norway CEO Joelle Corey-Whitman reported to the planning board August 23 – two weeks into Marcisso's 30 days – that only a light bulb and cover plate had been installed. When she tried the switch, from both first and second floors, she said, neither worked although a pull chain on the light did work. However because it is a common area and means of egress in a fire, tenants need to be able to turn the light on from both floors not just at the actual light.
Corey-Whitman further reported that the ceilings on the first floor had not been repaired, the rails at the base of the stairs had not been added and, aside from some new plywood on the bulkhead, no further attempt to make it safe had been done.
Marcisso was disbarred from HUD's Section 8 housing voucher program last year, for a history of non-compliance.
Anyone living in unhealthy or unsafe conditions should do the following:
• Talk to the landlord, explain the problem and ask him to fix it.
• If that doesn't work, put the complaint in writing. Keep a copy of the letter. Hand the letter to the landlord, or send it certified mail, return receipt requested, so that there is written proof that the landlord got it.
• Contact the local code enforcement officer. Ask him or her to inspect the home and to send a notice to the landlord, telling the landlord to fix the problem.
• If none of these steps work, or if you have questions, call Pine Tree Legal Assistance at (207) 784-1558.