Property Violations

Can You Sell a House With a Violation?

Have you ever received a code violation in New York? Would you know if you can sell a house with a code violation? Do you know what the local code is for homes in your New York county or municipality? These might not be questions you’ve thought too much about it but there’s always a chance you could find yourself in this situation and need to know the code violation process fast.

When you have a code violation, one of the most important things to understand is whether it makes more sense to fix the issue or whether you should just consider selling the house. It might be that the issue costs too much money, it might be that a homeowner doesn’t have the time to sort it out, or you might just simply want to sell your New York house fast and be done with it. There are all different types of code violations that could decide this question for you.

Let’s take a closer look at what you need to consider when deciding whether to fix a code violation or selling a New York property with a code violation instead.

If you’re interested in selling a house with violations (see types below), there are different ways you can go about it. What ever decision you make, will depend on your situation, what the violations might be, whether you want to fix it or not, and whether or not you want to sell your house fast. Curing ( fixing and removing the issues from record) can be an expensive and time consuming proposition.

Considering the costs and time involved in trying to fix a house or property with building code violations, another solution is to sell your house for cash to a real estate investor. We will purchase your property “as is” with whatever problems exist and we’ll pay you cash for it.

Between New York City, Long Island, and all of the areas in between, there are a lot of properties here. Over a million, in fact. So you can believe that safety and making sure all structures meet code is a big priority in New York. That comes through in all different types of zoning codes, building codes, and other local codes that dictate what you can build, how it needs to be built, and how they need to be maintained. And if you’re not up to speed on the most important ones, you could find yourself in trouble very easily.

In New York City, the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) is the one who issues violations to any property that doesn’t meet New York City Construction Codes and or Zoning Resolution. While any violation issues will require it to be corrected, OATH violations also include an order to certify the correction, though that can be challenged.

Here’s a rundown of the most common building code violations that you’re likely to come across in New York and what you should do if you decide to fix them.

Class A
A Class A violation is the kind of code violation that is considered non-hazardous and is the “lowest” level that you could get in trouble for. Some examples of a Class A violation include the unlawful keeping of chickens or other animals on the property, a lack of a peephole in an entrance door, or a lack of a street number on the front of the residence. If you get dinged for a Class A violation, you have 90 days from the date of the mailing to correct the issue plus a certification of correction is also required within two weeks after it’s completed. A failure to comply will likely get you a $10-$50 fine per violation per day, which can add up really quickly.

Class B
A Class B violation is one that is deemed hazardous and is more serious than a Class A. Examples of a Class B violation include inadequate lighting in shared spaces, unlawful use of bars or gates that block fire escapes, or a lack of a working smoke detector in a residential unit. Class B violations must be corrected within 30 days of the mailing of the notice and certification of correction is required within five days after the correction is made. A failure to comply can earn you daily fines from $25 to $100 until it’s fixed. 

Class C
Class C violations are the most extreme and are considered “immediately hazardous” to living conditions. They include the presence of rodents, broken plumbing or pipes, lead paint peeling in a residence with children, a lack of hot water or heat, and defective faucets. Any Class C violation is required to be fixed within 24 hours of the notice and certification of correction is required within five days of the fix. Class C violations are very costly, depending on the size of the building and number of units, and often run into the hundreds or thousands of dollars in fines.  

How Long Do You Have to Fix a Code Violation?

When it comes to fixing code violations, the amount of time you have to fix them depends on the type of violation as well as building codes.

If you have a Class A violation, you have 90 days to fix the issue. If you have a Class B violation, you have 30 days to fix the issue. And if you have a Class C violation, you need to fix it within just 24 hours given the life-threatening potential. You also have a very specific schedule after you’ve fixed the violation to get a certification of correction and submit that to the city to make sure the building code violation has cleared by an expert.

There are also ways to get extensions for certain violations. A stipulation can be provided if you’re willing to admit that the violation is legitimate, which can also lead to a reduced penalty before you fix it. That’s why it’s important for any homeowner or property owner to find out what is possible with violations, especially if you don’t feel as though you have a lot of time or money available.

There are numerous types of violations in New York City. Three of the most common are HPD, DOB, and ECB violations. Below you will find a basic breakdown of each of these violations, what they mean, and what action should be taken.

HPD Violations

A Department of Housing Preservation and Development Violation, better known as an HPD violation, is issued when building codes are not complied with. These types of violations are not heard through the Environmental Control Board (ECB) and have unique requirements for being resolved. In most cases, a Notice of Violation will be sent to the property but there are exceptions.

An HPD violation is issued with a class designation that determines the timeframe for correction and the penalty for not completing the correction. The classes are as follows:

C – Immediately Hazardous. Depending on the specifics, it will be issued with either 24 hours or five days given for correction. There are two exceptions: lead and window guard corrections get 21 days, while heat and hot water violations must be handled immediately. The penalty for not immediately correcting heat and hot water issues is $250 per day. This is ERP eligible. ( emergency violations
B – Hazardous. This violation comes with 30 days or five days for correction, depending on the specific violation. Civil penalties and litigation are potential penalties.
A – Non-Hazardous. For this violation, 90 days or 14 days are allotted for correction, depending on the specifics. Potential penalties include fines and civil lawsuits.
B – Hazardous – Order to Correct. The time to correct this will vary from immediately to months. Penalties include civil penalties and municipal litigation.

DOB Violations

A Department of Buildings Violation (DOB Violation) is a notice determining that a specific property is not in compliance with the law. A DOB Violation includes an order for correction from the Commissioner of the Department of Buildings, and is added to the Department’s Building Information System. In order for a new or amended Certificate of Occupancy to be obtained, the DOB violation must be corrected.
Information about DOB violations is public and appears on a title search of a property. Any open violation could prevent the owner from refinancing or selling their property. There are more than 25 types of DOB violations

ECB Violations

To protest an emergency repair charge, submit your protest in writing and deliver it to the HPD Research and Reconciliation Unit on or before the payment due date listed on the statement of account. You may request an invoice that supports HPD’s emergency repair charge prior to protesting the charge. Failure to protest an emergency repair charge within the time allowed negates an owner’s right to contest the charge in any subsequent administrative or judicial proceeding.

ECB/OATH violations are issued when a property is not in compliance with construction codes or zoning resolutions as set out by the New York City Construction Codes or Zoning Resolution. The Department of Buildings issues the violation notices.

Each violation will include an order to correct the cited conditions and some may also include an additional order to certify said correction. The respondent has the option to challenge the violation at a hearing. If they are found in violation, then they may face penalties. Failure to appear at a requested hearing will result in penalties of up to $25,000.

More Information

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