The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) has recently lifted the prior mandatory obligation of property owners who have been charged with an ECB Notice of Violation (a violation notifying the recipient that its property does not comply with a provision of the NYC Building Code and/or NYC Zoning Resolution) having to appear before the Environmental Control Board (ECB) to get the violation dismissed or lifted. The DOB now offers property owners a new option to ECB violation recipients.
This new option permits violation recipients at any time prior to a scheduled ECB hearing to plead guilty by mail, and enclose the minimum required payment. The underlying condition resulting in the violation still must be corrected, and the party also must submit a Certificate of Correction form to the DOB's Administrative Enforcement Unit. Failure to correct a violation will leave the violation "open" in the DOB records, and open violations appear on a property title search.
This new remedial measure eliminates the prior requirement of appearing on the return date, and enables violation recipients to contain up front costs by electing to pay the minimum fine amount, and avoid additional costs associated with attending an ECB hearing such as legal fees. Please note that parties still may defend and challenge issued violations by attending their scheduled ECB hearing.