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Violations FAQS

Q - I have received an Environmental Control Board (ECB) Violation but I don’t know when my hearing date is.
A –
Use the Buildings Information System by entering your Notice of Violation (NOV) number or the address where the violating condition is located. You may also call the Administrative Enforcement Unit

Q – An ECB violation was issued to my property. I can't attend on the scheduled hearing date. What should I do?
A -
You may request that the hearing be adjourned (rescheduled) by contacting the Environmental Control Board, in the borough where the hearing is scheduled.

Q - How many times can I adjourn an Environmental Control Board Hearing?
A –
Contact the Environmental Control Board, for its policies on adjournments.

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 -
Failure to attend a scheduled hearing will result in default. This means the respondent is found in violation (guilty) and the maximum penalty is usually imposed. You can contact the Environmental Control Board, located in the borough where the hearing is scheduled to reopen the case.

Q – An ECB violation was issued to my property. Do I need a lawyer at the hearing?
A – You may have a lawyer represent you, but a lawyer is not required.

Q – An ECB violation was issued to my property. What are my options for dealing with this violation?
A - If the violation is noted as hazardous or is a second offense, you must attend the scheduled hearing. If the violation is non-hazardous you may: (1) contest the violation and attend the hearing; (2) cure (correct) the violation by submitting an acceptable Certificate of Correction before the cure date; or (3) file a stipulation (only if you receive a stipulation offer in the mail from ECB).

If you received an illegal conversion violation (section 27-118.1 of the Administrative Code), you must attend the hearing. However, you may submit a Certificate of Correction form up to 45 days from the date the Notice of Violation was issued and before the hearing date, whichever occurs first, to stop the accumulation of daily penalties. If the Certificate of Correction is approved, present the approval letter at the hearing as proof of correction.

Q – An ECB violation was issued to my property. How do I know if I am eligible for the "cure" option?
A -
If you are eligible for the cure option, there will be a cure date written on the bottom of the violation form. To avoid a hearing and penalty, you must submit a completed Certificate of Correction, including proof of correction, to the Administrative Enforcement Unit, on or before the cure date (see front of Notice of Violation), and it MUST BE APPROVED by the Administrative Enforcement Unit. By submitting the Certificate of Correction, you are admitting to the charges.

Q – How can I avoid paying a penalty for this ECB violation?
A -
If your violation is eligible for the "cure" option, you may correct the violating condition and complete a Certificate of Correction. The form must be submitted to and approved by the Department’s Administrative Enforcement Unit before the cure date. If the violation is cured in that manner, the hearing and penalty are waived. If you do not cure your violation, or are not allowed to do so, you must attend your hearing. If found in violation, the penalty amount depends on the conditions cited in the violation.

Q - What is a stipulation?
A -
A stipulation is an agreement between you and the Department of Buildings in which you admit the violation, receive additional time to correct the violating condition(s) and receive a reduced penalty, usually half of the hearing penalty. Depending on the offense, you may receive a stipulation offer in the mail, which explains the terms and conditions of the stipulation. If you accept the stipulation offer and meet its terms and conditions, you do not need to attend the hearing.

Q - How can I limit the imposition of daily penalties for illegal conversion violations pursuant to §26-126 (1)(e)(1)?
A - You may submit a Certificate of Correction up to 45 days from the date the Notice of Violation was issued and before the hearing date, whichever occurs first, to stop accumulation of the per day penalties. If the Certificate of Correction is approved, present the approval letter at the hearing as proof of correction.

Q - Where can I pay the amount I owe for this ECB violation?
A - At the Environmental Control Board located in the borough where the hearing is scheduled.

Q - I paid my penalty, but the Department of Buildings still shows the violation is "open".
A - In order to close a violation, you must file a Certificate of Correction with the Department’s Administrative Enforcement Unit, and the Department must approve the certificate. The violation remains open until you submit acceptable proof (e.g. photographs, sworn statements, etc.).


Q - What do I need to Certify Correction?
A - To certify that you have corrected the violating condition(s) in the Notice of Violation, you must file a Certificate of Correction form with the Administrative Enforcement Unit, and the Department must approve the certificate. A violation that is not dismissed by ECB will continue to appear as "open" on Department of Buildings records until you submit acceptable proof that the violating condition for which you were cited has been corrected. This is true even if you have paid the penalty imposed by ECB.

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 a New York State Registered Architect or Professional Engineer to find out if the violating condition can be legalized by filing an application with the Department of Buildings. Or contact the Department of Buildings in the borough where the premises is located with the violation number and premises address to ask how to correct the violating condition by removing the illegal work.

Q – An ECB violation was issued to my property. How do I legalize the illegal condition?
A - Correct the violating condition. This may require filing an application with the Department to do construction or other regulated work. File a Certificate of Correction with the proof that you have corrected the violating condition with the Administrative Enforcement Unit

Q - How can I get a violation on waterfront property corrected?
A –
Contact the Waterfront Unit

Q - I have a violation on my sidewalk. How do I correct it?
A -
If this question relates to a new building, major alteration or curb cut, contact the Department of Buildings in the borough where the premises is located and ask for the Builders Pavement liaison. In all other situations, contact the Department of Transportation by calling 311.

Q - I have a question about padlock enforcement how do I get more information?
A -
Review the section on Padlock and review the Padlock FAQ.

Q - I have a question about sign enforcement how do I get more information?
A -
Review the section on Signs.

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