NYC building violations are classified by city authorities as unsafe building (UB) conditions. Dealing with them can be both expensive and highly complex. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about New York City building problems.
1. How can I know if there’s a UB violation against property I own?
By checking the Department of Building’s website. There, you’ll find the Buildings Information System (BIS). Enter the property’s address. If you see the UB designation in the results, then a citation has been issued against it.
2. How can I have a UB violation dismissed?
This can be done in one of two ways. If the citation is correct, then you must complete the necessary modifications or repairs to remove the violating conditions and then have the property re-inspected. On the other hand, if you believe the citation to be in error, then you can contact the Department of Building’s website in the borough that the property is located in to request a re-inspection. If the citation is found to have been issued in error, it will be removed.
3. I’ve heard the term “survey” used in regards to UB violations. What does it mean?
A survey is an on-site inspection of the property under investigation to determine if it is in violation of city codes. The survey is conducted by a Department of Buildings inspector, who is accompanied by an independent engineer or architect. A report is then prepared describing the unsafe conditions, if any, and outlining recommended methods for correcting them. The property owner is normally assessed a $100.00 fee to cover the costs of the survey.
4. I am currently doing work on a property I own and have received a Notice of Survey and Summons. Is there any way I can get this action cancelled so that I can resume construction?
You must first correct the conditions that led to the UB violation being issued in the first place. Once this is done, you may contact the Department of Buildings office in your borough to arrange a re-inspection. You must also pay the fee for the survey, if one has been assessed.
5. What is a “Lis Pendens?”
Also known as a Notice of Pendency, this is a public notice of the UB violation and any court actions pending against the property and/or its owner.
6. How can I cancel a Lis Pendens?
You must correct the conditions that led to the UB violation and pay any survey or other applicable fees. After this is done, you can request that the county clerk of your borough cancel the action.
7. I have received a Notice of Survey and Summons for a property I neither own nor have an interest in. How do I get it dismissed?
Contact the UB enforcement unit in your borough and advise them of these facts. You may need to prove that you do not have ownership of, or interest in, the property in question.
8. What is a “precept?”
A precept is an order issued by a court. It authorizes the City to perform the work needed on your property to remove the UB violation. If this occurs, you will be liable to the City for the cost of the work.
9. What can I do if I wish to do the work to correct the UB violation myself, instead of allowing the City to perform the work for me?
You must contact the commissioner of the borough in which the property is located to make this request. Be prepared to prove that you are able to do the work and have applied for the proper permits to do so. The commissioner’s office will decide whether or not to grant your request.
10. How can I avoid hassles like these in the first place?
By contacting Burnham Nationwide first. Our staff of experts can advise you on all matters pertaining to NYC building violations, including zoning variances, getting permits approved, and handling disputes. Get in touch with us today!