As a property owner or manager in New York City, it is essential to understand the laws and regulations governing building maintenance and construction. One of the critical components of the city’s regulatory system is the Environmental Control Board (ECB). The ECB is responsible for enforcing the city’s building codes and ensuring that property owners and contractors comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
What is an ECB Violation?
An ECB violation is a notice issued by the Environmental Control Board to a property owner or contractor for non-compliance with the New York City construction codes. The ECB issues violations for a wide range of infractions, including but not limited to failure to obtain a permit, construction without a permit, not renewing permits, and safety violations on job sites, such as faulty scaffolding or facades.
Penalties for ECB Violations
ECB violations can result in hefty penalties for property owners and their contractors. The fines for a violation can range from $1,000 to $25,000, depending on the severity of the violation. There are also additional penalties for repeat violations or for any violations that remain uncorrected after the date specified in the notice of violation, making it more expensive to cure if uncorrected.
How to Check if You Have an ECB Violation?
If you are a property owner or contractor, regularly checking for any open violations against your property is essential. You can search for your property’s violation history on the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) website. Checking regularly can help you identify and correct any issues promptly, minimizing the risk of penalties, fines, and repeat violations carrying additional penalties.
What is the DOB?
Definition of DOB Violation
The Department of Buildings (DOB) is another agency responsible for enforcing the construction codes in New York City. DOB violations are similar to ECB violations but are issued specifically for non-compliance with DOB regulations and standards. Examples of DOB violations include failure to maintain a property according to code and zoning or resolve any unsafe conditions.
DOE-DOB violations are a combination of violations issued by the DOB and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). These violations are issued for environmental health and safety violations that can cause harm to the environment or create public health hazards such as mold and rats.
ECB and DOB Violations – What’s the Difference?
The primary difference between ECB and DOB violations is the agency that issues them. The ECB issues violations for non-compliance with the construction codes, while the DOB issues violations for non-compliance with specific DOB regulations and standards. Both agencies can issue violations for the same underlying issue. Still, property owners and their contractors must address the specific violations and their related penalties and fines to resolve the violation.
How to Resolve an ECB Violation in NYC?
Understanding the Correction Notice
When a violation is issued, the property owner or respondent must correct the violation or request a hearing to dispute the violation’s validity. If correction is chosen, the necessary actions must be taken immediately, and the work must be certified within a specific period. When the property owner successfully addresses the violation, they can apply for an ECB violation compliance certificate.
ECB Violation Compliance Certificate
The ECB violation compliance certificate proves that the property owner has corrected the violation and complied with applicable laws and regulations. It is an essential document that property owners must possess to avoid paying additional penalties and fines.
How to Certify Correction of ECB Violations?
To certify that the violation has been corrected, the property owner or contractor must submit a notarized certificate of correction forms to the DOB within the specified period, along with proof the violation has been corrected. The DOB will then review the certificates, in addition to the supporting proof, and, if accepted, issue an approved certificate of correction.
ECB Violation Fines and Penalties
Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3 ECB Violations
The ECB categorizes violations into three classes: Class 1 as the most serious and Class 3 as the least. The penalties and fines of each classification vary, with Class 1 violations carrying the most severe penalties and fines.
Notices of ECB Violation
Notices of violation are sent to property owners or respondents when an ECB violation is issued. It is important to have the property registered to ensure if there are notifications sent, you receive them. These notices provide details of the alleged violation, including a description of the violation, the applicable law and rule, and the penalty amounts.
Penalties for Hazardous ECB Violations
Hazardous violations pose a significant threat to public safety and health. These violations carry additional penalties, including the potential for criminal charges, civil penalties, and more severe fines.
ECB Violations and Certificate of Occupancy
Effect of ECB Violations on Certificate of Occupancy
An ECB violation can impact a property’s certificate of occupancy, a legal document certifying that a building or property complies with all New York City construction codes and regulations. If a violation remains uncorrected, it can lead to the revocation of the certificate of occupancy.
How to Get a New Certificate of Occupancy after ECB Violation?
If a property owner’s certificate of occupancy is revoked, they must correct the violation and apply for a new certificate of occupancy. This requires hiring a professional to file and submit a new job application and undergoing an inspection by the DOB.
ECB Violations and NYC Property Sale Transactions
ECB violations can impact property sale transactions, as buyers may hesitate to purchase a property with open violations. Therefore, property owners must promptly address any open violations to avoid potential delays or complications in the sale process.
ECB Violation Legal Proceedings
ECB Violation Hearing Process
When a violation is issued, the property owner or respondent has the right to request a hearing with the ECB court to dispute the validity of the violation. The hearing process is an administrative proceeding before the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH).
OATH ECB Proceedings
The OATH ECB proceedings are overseen by an administrative law judge with the authority to render decisions and impose penalties. The respondent can present evidence and argue their case during the hearing.
How to Apply for ECB Violation Dismissal?
If you believe that an ECB violation was issued in error, you have the right to apply for dismissal of the violation. The application must be submitted within a specific period, and you must provide evidence to support your claim. A successful application for dismissal will result in the dismissal of the violation and the removal of any associated fines or penalties.
Understanding ECB violations and their related penalties and fines is vital for property owners and their contractors in New York City. Properties can avoid serious legal and financial consequences by staying informed and promptly addressing open violations.