Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Building Violations
Q – How can I view the violations received on my property and the court dates?
A – Go to the Department of Buildings website and enter the property information in the left panel.
Q – I received an ECB violation on my property and I can’t attend on the scheduled hearing date. What should I do?
A – Failure to attend a scheduled hearing will result in default. Violation Removal Inc. will represent you, no need for you to spend time in court.
Q – I been receiving notices from ECB that I owe money for a violation that I didn’t know about, or a default notice. What does that mean, and what should I do?
A – Let Violation Removal Inc. know right away, there may still be time to get a new court date before the maximum penalties are imposed. If it is already to late to get a new hearing date, Violation Removal Inc. can still help you get a major reduction on those fines.
Q – How can I avoid paying a penalty for this ECB violation?
A – You may be able to avoid paying if your violation is eligible for the “cure” option, you will see on your violation a field for “cure date”, you may correct the violation before the cure date, and if you do then you will not have any fees to pay to the court. Violation Removal Inc. will help you file your certificate of correction needed to resolve the violation. If you do not cure your violation, or are not allowed to do so you will then be subject to a penalty amount depending on the cited violation.
Q – What is a stipulation?
A – A stipulation is an agreement between you and the Department of Buildings in which you plead guilty to the violation, in exchange for additional time to correct the violating condition(s), you also receive a reduced penalty, usually half of the hearing penalty. But, BEWARE stipulations are not always a good idea, call Violation Removal Inc. before accepting a stipulation. If you accepted a stipulation on a “work without a permit” violation on a 3 family home per se, you would receive a discount on the hearing penalty, but you would also receive a minimum $5,000 civil penalty payable to the DOB, which they conveniently fail to mention anywhere, but once you go to correct the violation and pull the permit, surprise, the DOB will not issue the permit before the $5,000 civil penalty is paid.
Q – Where can I pay the amount I owe for this ECB violation?
A – The easiest way is on the NY-Serv website, just follow the link and click “ECB Violations”, you will need the violation nember, and there is an approx $2.00 surcharge for using the site. You can also pay your parking tickets, property taxes, and water bill quickly and easily as well.
Q – I paid my penalty, but the Department of Buildings still shows the violation as “open”.
A – Paying the violation is not enough, you must also correct the violation, this is done by filing a Certificate of Correction which must be approved by the Department of Buildings, let Violation Removal Inc. take care of it for you.
Q – I received a violation stating “restore premises to prior legal condition” or “legalize” or “obtain a permit.” What should I do?
A – Consult with Violation Removal Inc. to find out if the violating condition can be legalized by filing an application with the Department of Buildings, or if it will have to be restored to prior legal conditions.
Q – Should I be concerned if my building has open violations?
A – Absolutely, if you received a violation from the City of New York, you must take it seriously. You will continue receiving penalties until the violation gets resolved. This may result in thousands of dollars of penalties and associated costs. Be careful!! Violations will become even more costly if not taken cared of immediately. Building Code violations do not go away by simply paying the fine. The City can and will send out other inspectors to fine you over and over again.
Q – Why do I need to “Obtain a permit” if the work was already done?
A – When work is performed without a permit it is considered as work performed without permission. The Department of Buildings will not consider the work performed legal until it has been permitted. It will require a “no work” permit, used solely for the sake of legalizing the work which was already completed. Let Violation Removal Inc. pull your permits for you, after all we are Licensed General Contractors with the Department of Buildings.
Q – There was a “LS4” posted on my door by an inspector, what does that mean?
A – It means that the Inspector from the Department of Buildings came to inspect your property and was unable to gain access, and is requesting that you call to schedule an inspection. If you receive this notice contact Violation Removal Inc.,by not handling this situation properly, the City is able to get a warrant to search your property, this is extremely uncomfortable and unnerving, don’t let this happen to you, contact Violation Removal Inc. right away.
Q – I received a violation for my basement having a full bathroom and kitchen, can I legalize it?
A – Often times a basement CAN NOT be legalized, so be careful of just anyone telling you it can be. A simple trick to know whether or not you can legalize it is by checking to see if you have small rectangular windows in your “basement”, if you do, you can be 99% sure that this is not actually considered a “basement” by the NYC Zoning Resolution standards, and is in fact considered a “cellar”, which is 100% impossible to legalize completely. You may or may not be able to keep the bathroom, shower, etc., Let Violation Removal Inc. counsel with you to determine once and for all if it can be legalized
Q – What is a Vacate Order?
A – It’s an order to vacate the part of the premises that the Department of Buildings has deemed unsafe to inhabit (i.e. basement, attic, entire premises, etc.). NOTE – Do Not Remove a Vacate Order paper from your property, leave it exactly where it is, if a DOB inspector sees that you removed it, it is considered “mutilating a Vacate Order”, and is another hearing, and a nearly $5,000 penalty.
Q – What is a Stop Work Order?
A – The Department issues a Stop Work Order when an inspector find hazardous or unsafe or non-permitted work site conditions. Stop Work Orders are issued to protect workers, tenants, the public as well as buildings and properties from unsafe work or work without permits. NOTE – Do Not Remove a Stop Work Order paper from your property, leave it exactly where it is, if a DOB inspector sees that you removed it, it is considered “mutilating a Stop Work Order”, and is another hearing, and a nearly $5,000 penalty. Also, DO NOT Violate a Stop Work Order. If the Department finds work being done against a Stop Work Order, additional violations will be issued, and additional civil penalties will be imposed; First Violation of a Stop Work Order: $5,000, any subsequent violation of a Stop Work Order: additional $10,000 – These penalties for these violations must be paid before the Stop Work Order can be rescinded.
Q – I received a violation for my sidewalk do I need to do repairs?
A – Most likely you’ve received this violation for cracks or an uneven sidewalk, a tripping hazard or the like. Violation Removal Inc. can definitely help by making the physical repairs to the sidewalk for you and finishing the job by removing the violation. As always, Violation Removal Inc. keeps their rate consistently lower than the forced City repairs, and our response time is days, not months.
Q – I have an open sidewalk lien/violation but the repairs were already done.
A – Violation Removal Inc. can pull the permit for you, and once that is finished we can work to have the violation vacated immediately.
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