Since 2008, the city has received 23 complaints about illegal apartments and an unsanctioned daycare center in a Flushing, Queens building, but inspectors haven't been able to bring the building up to code, the Daily News reports.

Continuing its investigation of illegal apartments following a fatal Woodside fire in an improperly subdivided basement, the tabloid details the Queens Jade complex on Ash Avenue, where residents have long complained about improper uses turning their home into a firetrap.

The city tried to shut down the illegal daycare operating out of an apartment in the building in 2002 by fining the owner $2,500 for blocking exits. Jerry Shen, who was inside that unit when the Daily News visited, promised the paper that the space was now a "home office." But a reporter noticed a notebook titled "student roster" open on the table and crayon drawings hanging from the walls. Residents say they know that the daycare is still open because parents keep knocking on their doors and asking where they can leave their kids.

But the city has been unable to take action against the owners of that building — and many others — because of a policy that allows landlords to escape fines and violations by simply not answering the door when inspectors visit. Investigators visited the Flushing Jade apartments in April and May, but they dropped the case when they couldn't get in. Throughout Queens, 12,911 complaints about illegal apartments have been filed so far this year — 3,419 in the Flushing area alone.