Building owners who fail to check for open violations at least once or twice a year could face a gap in insurance coverage at renewal. Open violations can create an issue for landlords when renewing the building’s insurance policy, even if they still have time to correct and certify the violation before the agency deadline.
As part of our annual review process, we request property reports from the New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) and other municipal agencies as a courtesy. Insurance companies review these reports at renewal time, and open violations could result in policy cancellation.
Too often, we discover open violations, which require last-minute scrambling. Either the property owner was not aware of the violations and must now correct the non-compliant conditions, or the violations were corrected but not updated by the agencies.
How to Check for Open Violations
Building owners should receive Notices of Violation (NOVs) in the mail. These notices are mailed to the managing agent on record according to the most recent property registration
In addition, building owners in New York City should check and the Buildings Information System (BIS) for open violations every six months. Users can search for property records by street address or by entering the Block and Lot numbers. If any violations appear for which NOVs were not received, the owner should update the property registration.
Open Violations: Correction and Certification
The correction and certification process can be complex and time-consuming, depending on the nature of the infraction and the associated agency. Some violations can take weeks to correct. Then, building owners must certify the correction, online or by mail. (The specific process depends on the agency.)
Depending on the nature and number of violations, the policy may not be renewed due to open violations.
To avoid potential cancellation of your building’s policy, set a reminder once or twice each year to check HPD’s online database and the BIS and start the process of clearing open violations well in advance of your insurance renewal date.
Benefits of Prompt Violation Corrections
By checking for and promptly correcting open violations, building owners will also find that other business goals run more smoothly.
Correcting violations quickly can help you:
- Avoid problems or surprises if you decide to sell or refinance your property
- Maintain or increase the value of your property
- Improve the safety and security of your building
- Ensure tenant satisfaction
- Reduce the risk of lawsuits stemming from an uncorrected violation
- Avoid fines, penalties and emergency repair costs if you’re not able to correct and clear certain open violations by the deadline
HPD Violations: Certification Inspection Requests
HPD may inspect properties to confirm corrections. For violations that do not involve lead-based paint, if no reinspection is performed, HPD will consider the violation complied after 70 days. With an insurance renewal—or some other pressing property matter—on the line, a 70-day wait period may be too long.
After completing the building repairs, certify the correction online using HPD’s eCertification* system or mail a completed Certification of Correction of Violations form to your Borough Service Center. (NOTE: If you use eCertification, save or print a copy of the confirmation screen for your records. You won’t receive a confirmation email.)
Then, call your Borough Service Center and request an inspection to verify the correction and clear the violation sooner. There’s no guarantee, however, that HPD will be able to accommodate your request, so we strongly encourage you to check for property violations as part of ongoing due diligence.