A judge slapped R. Kelly’s Chicago recording studio with 66 building code violations on Tuesday, totaling a potential $66,000 per day, and ordered that the studio — a space that the singer has turned into illegal living quarters, complete with kitchen, bar room and sauna — no longer be used as a residence.
“It looks like people are living there, and that’s not good,” said Cook County judge Patrice Ball-Reed after viewing photos taken during the city’s buildings inspection of Kelly’s space at 219 N. Justine last week, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “Someone is living there.”
Kelly — whose alleged history of sexual assault has been the renewed subject of national public attention in recent years — was first ordered to allow inspectors into his recording studio on January 11th, after the city received an anonymous 311 call claiming that two people were illegally living in the commercially zoned building. Tuesday’s court order demands that the space be rehabilitated to comply with regulations, as well as vacated as a living space.
Court documents obtained by Rolling Stone note that Kelly needs to perform a “full gut rehab of the entire building” to fix its code breaches, including “construction or alteration work contrary to original plan of construction without obtaining a permit; specifically, building originally a photography studio … [the space] now consists of a recording studio with bathrooms, sauna room, steam room, bathtubs, kitchen area, bar area, recording rooms, bedrooms, and multiple heating-plant rooms,” all of which violate various city building codes.
Other infractions include the failure to “remove rubbish, excess storage,” failure to maintain adequate clearance around heat-producing appliances, failure to “maintain floor free from hopes and wide cracks and free from loose, warped, protruding or rotting floor boards” and multiple failures to protect from fire hazards. Each violation is punishable with a fine of $500 to $1,000 per day, or $34,000 to $66,000 a day total.
Kelly is the only occupant of the warehouse building, which houses his recording studio on the first floor. Officers from Chicago’s building department found multiple signs of people occupying the space as a residence during their hour-long inspection of the building last week, including toiletries, towels, shoes, clothing and two bathtubs sporting “waste and over flows” due to not having drain plugs installed.
Kelly’s lawyer did not immediately reply to a request for comment.