Est. 2007

ECB Division

If you have received an Environmental Control Board Violation, please contact our office for an immediate free consultation. Our office is well-versed in the handling of such issues, specifically, but not limited to:

  • Building Violations
  • Waste and Dumping Violations
  • Environmental Violations
  • Asbestos Violations
  • Noise Violations
  • Water Violations
  • Air Violations
  • Etc.

If you like, you can also submit a copy of the violation to our office, and an experienced attorney will contact you shortly regarding same (consultation is free of charge):

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Resolving an Environmental Control Board (ECB) violation can be a challenging and expensive process for New York City management companies and landlords. As we have covered in the past, the Department of Buildings (DOB) issues these violations when they determine that a building does not follow construction or zoning codes. We will review what options landlords have to resolve ECB violations and why talking to attorney early can make the process easier.

Some New York landlords know all too well how difficult the city's Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) and Environmental Control Board (ECB) can make life. Inspectors from the Department of Buildings (DOB) have the power to declare valuable rental property uninhabitable. Violations can potentially come with fines, lost rental income, court costs, penalties/interest and more. A single "Immediately Hazardous" violation, for example, can quickly cost thousands of dollars if not timely resolved.

An ECB summons can generate many questions and concerns, but it's important that you not panic or act hastily. You should give these violations timely attention and due respect, but don't assume that the proverbial sky is falling. Some issues are relatively easy to address, and once they are taken care of, you can file a Certificate of Correction with the DOB.

Notice of a violation

The DOB issues violation summonses upon discovery that a property "does not comply with a part of the New York City Construction Codes and/or Zoning Resolutions." Violations can come from a variety of different causes, including:

  • Presence of asbestos in the premises
  • Presence of lead paint in the premises
  • Lack of clean water
  • Air quality issues
  • Pests (including cockroaches, mice/rats and bedbugs)
  • Gas leaks
  • Presence of mold in the premises
  • Excessive noise
  • Electrical code violations
  • Illegal waste disposal and dumping
  • Other environmental issues
  • Building code violations (such as not having sprinklers or smoke/carbon monoxide detectors, poorly lit stairwells, broken locks)
  • Lack of adequate heating

Whatever the reason you received an ECB violation notice and summons, you don't have to go through this alone. Reach out to an experienced real property attorney for help, guidance and more information about the process. Particularly if you are a new landlord or property owner, you might need someone with in-depth knowledge of OATH/ECB violations and hearings to stand by your side.

What is the process for resolving an ECB violation?

The DOB can issue an ECB violation for many types of building code problems, including those involving electrical work, mold and/or pests. If an inspector notices a potential violation at your building they will issue an Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH)/ECB notice of the violation and a summons to a hearing. You can attend the hearing if you wish to contest the violation.

Building owners have three options to resolve alleged violations without attending a hearing:

  • Curing the violation: The DOB may allow a building owner to fix the problem by a certain date and avoid penalties.
  • Admit option:A building owner can admit fault for a violation and pay the standard penalty. Building owners can admit fault before the hearing or at the hearing itself.
  • Stipulation (pre-hearing): In some circumstance, a building owner can admit guilt to a violation and receive extra time to fix the problem. The owner will have to pay a reduced fine and fix the issue.

In the OATH/ECB hearing, you can bring witnesses and evidence to explain to a judge why the violation is inaccurate. Many building owners choose to have an attorney represent them in these hearings. The judge will review the hearing details and then mail you a decision. The judge’s final decision can result in dismissed charges, reduced penalties or an order to pay the full penalty. If a building owner ignores the summons and misses the hearing, they will receive a penalty five times higher than the standard amount.

When is the right time to contact an attorney?

Because the fines for an ECB violation can be so expensive, property owners should contact an attorney as soon as possible. A knowledgeable attorney can guide you through the process and fight to get you the best possible outcome. A lawyer can also build a strong defense for your supposed violation and give you an idea of your expected outcome.

Please feel free to fill out the below form to submit a question or information, an attorney will contact you shortly:



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