Open violations can prevent an owner from selling or refinancing. Inspectors issue Department of Buildings (DOB) Violations or OATH Summonses when property or construction doesn't comply with the Construction Codes, NYC Zoning Resolution and other applicable laws and rules.
The most commonly issued violation is the OATH Summons. There are three classes of OATH summonses:
Class 1 (Immediately Hazardous)
Class 2 (Major)
Class 3 (Lesser)
To resolve OATH summons you must correct the violating condition(s) and certify correction with the Department by:
Correcting the conditions and submitting the required forms to the Department's Administrative Enforcement Unit (AEU); All submissions must include a notarized statement attesting how the violation was corrected, proof of payment (DOB invoice) of all applicable DOB civil penalties relating to the summons (do not send checks) and any supporting documentation (example: photographs, receipts, permits, inspection results, etc.).
Admitting to the violation or attending the OATH hearing to contest the violation. An owner or respondent's failure to attend a hearing or send a representative to attend the hearing may result in default penalties up to $25,000, depending upon the summons
*NOTE: The violation will continue to appear as open in BIS until acceptable proof is submitted that the violating condition(s) have/has been corrected even if the penalty imposed at OATH has been paid. (Summonses dismissed by OATH show as resolved and do not require certification or payment.)*
Like OATH summonses, DOB violation information is public and will appear in a property title search. Open violations can prevent an owner from selling or refinancing. The Department will not issue new or amended Certificates of Occupancy or Letters of Completion when DOB violations remain active.
Some DOB violations may have fines attached, such as failure to file required annual boiler or elevator reports. However, there is no court appearance associated with a DOB violation. DOB violations issued for serious conditions may result in a Criminal Court summons being issued and prosecution.
To remove a DOB violation from a property record, the condition must be corrected and proof of that correction must be provided to the issuing unit. Visit the Unit Descriptions (link to DOB/Inside DOB/Unit Descriptions) page for the location of each unit.
Applicable DOB civil penalty payments must also be made.
To view violations on your property, access the Buildings Information System (BIS). Refer to the BIS Property Profile Overview for the number of open DOB violations. DOB violations are shown without an asterisk next to the violation number; dismissed DOB violations are shown with an asterisk, e.g., V*7052-18P.
Detailed information on certain DOB violations is available in BIS. If detailed information is not available, you may request copies of DOB violations from the issuing unit. The processing fee is $8.00 per copy for each violation; each additional duplicate copy of a violation is $5.00. You may also file a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request through NYC OpenRecords.