new york state building code

Common New York State Building Code Violations (And How to Fix Them)

Did you know that there are over 1.1 million structures in New York as of early 2019? That means that public safety is one of the top priorities in the Big Apple.

With such a large amount of buildings dominating the city, it’s up to the New York City Department of Buildings to lay down the law for its residents.

But how do you know which rules to follow?

If you’ve been hit with a New York building code violation, then it may be difficult to know what to do next.

Here’s our list of the most common New York State building code violations (and how to fix them).

Intro to Building Code Regulations

Wondering what to do if your building isn’t in compliance with existing building code regulations? The chances are, you’ll get hit with a New York building code violation before you know it.

There are so many different kinds of building code violations for the state of New York. Sound confusing? It doesn’t have to be!

Think about it this way: the more severe the building code violation, the more strict the criminal court punishment. That includes the whole summons and prosecution part too.

If you’re lucky, then you won’t even receive a fee or financial penalty for your minor violation. In short, you can get off the hook with a slap on the wrist if it’s a super small infraction.

But here’s the thing: every time that a building is sold, bought, or renovated, a title search will report all of the violations that happened on the premises.

That’s a huge turn off for property developers, who have to stop construction to deal with erasing pesky building violations.

What does this all mean? Basically, the state of New York takes any threat to public safety extremely seriously. So, it’s better to know what the rules are first so that you don’t end up breaking them.

Dying to know what to do if you get a building code violation? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back.

What to Do if You Get a Building Code Violation

Bad news: you’ve been hit with a New York residential code violation. What do you do next?

In reality, there are a few things that will happen:

  • You’ll receive a notice from the New York City Department of Buildings.
  • You may or may not be summoned for court prosecution.
  • Your building violation will impact the owner’s ability to sell the property.

First of all, expect to receive a notice from the New York City Department of Buildings. As soon as another tenant reports your violation, you’ll receive an official order to correct the problem.

Next, the New York City Department of Buildings will enter a copy of your violation into their information system.

Your building code violation won’t leave the system until it’s resolved. That means that there won’t be a new or amended occupancy certificate any time soon.

But there’s still hope: you may or may not be summoned for court prosecution. Sometimes, you won’t even get slapped with a fine for your infraction. However, if there was any type of injury or property loss involved, then you can plan on paying a steep fine.

This is even more likely if your New York residential building code violation results in damaged property that can’t be rented anymore.

Another word of advice: your building violation will impact the owner’s ability to sell the property. Essentially, it can become very hard for owners to sell, refinance, or get a construction permit until you fix the problem. Only then is your building code violation permanently erased from the public record.

Common New York Residential Code Violations

What are the most common New York residential code violations?

Although it can vary, you’ll typically get hit with one (or more) of the following code infractions:

  • Not providing proper heat and water for residents.
  • Missing smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms.

This is a big no-no: not providing proper heat and water for residents in the State of New York. Why does this matter?

Because you’ll receive a building code violation if your building is less than 68 degrees on the inside when it’s below 55 degrees outside. Other violations include failing to keep the inside temperature at 55 degrees when its below 40 degrees outside.

Just when you thought you heard it all: you need to keep your hot water at around 120 degrees for 24 hours a day too.

What else is a popular New York State violation?

The answer is simple: missing smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. You need to provide one carbon monoxide alarm and one smoke detector inside of every permanent resident’s space.

But there’s a catch: it’s the resident’s responsibility to make sure that their smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms work properly.

What kind of smoke detector should you get? Remember to grab one that makes a loud noise when its battery is about to die.

Other Popular Building Code Violations

Curious about other popular building code violations? Look no further.

Additional New York state building code infractions include:

  • Providing window and door locks that need a key.
  • Letting mold and pests take over your property.

Keep in mind: you can also get a New York residential code violation for providing window and door locks that need a key. Why? In case of an emergency, stopping to look for the right key could end up costing countless lives.

Finally, letting mold and pests take over your property is a surefire way to get reported to the New York City Department of Buildings. How so? Because it’s up to the building’s residents to maintain the cleanliness of their space.

That means that it’s the tenant’s job to be on the lookout for excess mold or pests indoor. Have a vermin or mold infestation? It’s up to you to get rid of it.

Types of Building Code Violations

Here’s the deal: there are several different types of building code violations that you could get slapped within the state of New York. These include:

To put it simply: the amount of time that you have to pay your New York residential code violation fee depends on what kind of violation you received.

For example, if you get sent a Class A violation, then you typically don’t have any hazardous waste involved with your infraction. That means you have up to three months to repay your debt.

You’ll be given an even shorter amount of time to repay Class B violations. That’s because they usually have to do with some sort of hazardous waste.

Did you receive a Class C violation? Then you probably applied lead paint or window guards to your property. Thus, the New York City Department of Buildings will give you three weeks to pay back the fine for this type of infraction.

New York Building Code Violation Costs

How much does a Class A violation cost?

If you simply forgot to post a visible notice about housing information guides, then prepare to pay $250 for each violation.

What if you were mailed a different kind of Class A violation? Then get ready to pay anywhere between $10 to $50 for every infraction.

Even though you’re given 30 days to make a payment for Class B violations, you have to pay an additional $10 for each day that your fine is outstanding. That’s on top of the $25 to $100 you have to shell out for each violation too.

The worst part? Class C violations range from $50 to $10,000. Unfortunately, those that used lead paint in their building will get hit the hardest.  For instance, if your Class C violation isn’t related to heating, water temperature, or lead paint, then you’ll be fined $50 every day if your building has less than five units.

Have more than five units? It’s between $50-$150 for each violation (not to mention an additional $125 every day).

What about hot water and heat infractions? That’s a stiff $250 to $500 fee every day for each violation. Got hit with more than one violation? That’s $500 to $1,000 a day for every infraction that occurs within a two year period.

Is your New York residential building code violation related to illegal heating devices? Then get ready to pay back a fine of $25 for every day that your building isn’t up to code. Otherwise, you can pay back a flat fee of $100.

Finally, here’s the holy grail of New York state building code violations: having any sort of lead-based paint inside of your residence.

While daily fees start at $250 for each day, your fine can grow up to $10,000 if you don’t take care of it right away.

Fixing a New York Residential Code Violation

How do you fix a New York residential code violation?

Take a look at your building code infraction order. Does it provide a “cure by” date? Also known as a hearing date, you have to fix your residential code infraction and get it looked over by a pro before your cure by date.

But here’s the kicker: you’ll be ordered to pay back all of your infraction fees before your cure by date too.

If you do fix up your property in time, then your court hearing is canceled.

Now it’s time to celebrate: you’ll get a new or amended Certificate of Occupancy right away.

Reporting a Residential Code Violation

Is someone in your neighborhood violating a building code of New York State? If so, then there’s nothing wrong with reporting a residential code violation either.

Need a push in the right direction? Try calling a special non-emergency hotline for New York City residents.

For the New York Police Department, that means that you’re going to be dialing “311” to get in touch with the right people to handle your problem.

Still not having any luck? You can reach the New York Police Department’s phone number for general inquiries at (646) 610-5000.

Are you a construction worker that’s afraid of getting a New York residential building code violation? You’re not alone. That’s why we highly recommend that you get in touch with a pro to make sure that your building meets the proper safety requirements.

With the help of a building code violation expert, you can make sure that your building is up to code before the New York City Department of Buildings has to get involved.

Get to Know Your New York State Building Code

Bottom line: get to know your New York State building code.

Why is this so important?  Because the less informed you are about New York residential building codes, the more likely you are to wind up getting an infraction.

You might feel that it’s no something that could ever happen to you. But receiving a New York State building infraction is way more common than you’d think.

Some of the most standard violations include failing to provide proper heat and water for residents and missing smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms.

Providing window and door locks that need a key and letting mold and pests take over your property will land you in hot water too. These are simple problems to overlook, but it’s very important that you get them dealt with.

Make sure to take care of your building code infraction before they get even more expensive. Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with the consequences.

Thinking about putting your New York property up for sale? Request a free offer on your house today.

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