Building owners in New York City have a responsibility to maintain their properties in safe condition, in compliance with the city’s construction codes. Failure to do so can result in violations. Open – or uncorrected – violations can prevent an owner from selling, refinancing or obtaining a new Certificate of Occupancy or Letter of Completion.
The most commonly issued violation is the Environmental Control Board (ECB) Notice of Violation. ECB is an administrative court that schedules and conducts hearings for violations related to NYC’s “quality of life” laws. The ECB itself does not issue violations. Those come from municipal agencies, such as the Department of Buildings (DOB) and Fire Department of New York City (FDNY). Owners who receive ECB violations are required to correct the condition and to certify correction to the DOB.
ECB violations fall into three classes:
- Class 1 (Immediately Hazardous)
- Class 2 (Major)
- Class 3 (Lesser)
Resolution of ECB Violations
Building owners have three options for resolving ECB violations without a hearing.
- Cure – Zero Penalty. This option is available for Class 3 and most Class 2 violations. The respondent must correct the violating condition(s) and certify correction within 40 days. If the Administrative Enforcement Unit (AEU) accepts the certification, the respondent “admits” to the violation and does not have to appear at the hearing. As a result, no hearing penalty is imposed.
- Stipulations. Applicable to Class 3 and selected Class 2 violations, this option involves an admission of guilt and extends compliance time 75 days past the first scheduled hearing date. Respondents may exercise this option by mail (paying half the penalty if accepted before the first hearing date) or at the hearing (paying the ECB approved hearing penalty). Failure to certify correction within 75 days reverts the penalty to the original hearing amount.
- Admit by Mail. This option extends to all violations, regardless of severity. Respondents must pay the standard penalty to ECB on or before the hearing date. No hearing is required, and the penalty is not reduced. Respondents must still certify correction of the violating conditions.
Certification of Corrections
Building owners, or their representatives, must correct the conditions and submit an original Certificate of Correction (AEU2 Form) to the AEU. In addition, they must submit a notarized statement describing how the violation was corrected, along with supporting documentation (ex. photos, receipts).
Owners can submit a Certificate of Correction upon correction of the violating condition. The hearing and certification processes are separate.
For more information, visit the DOB website.
We hope you found this article helpful. Part II of How to Clear DOB Property Violations is here and Part III here. If you have any questions about your current building insurance policy, or if you would like a free insurance review, please call our office at 877-576-5200 or post a comment below.