Building Owners

Big Fines? No Permits

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New York City building owners owing heavy ECB fines will now have a tougher time pulling permits due to recently passed Local Law 160. If building owners owe more than $25,000 in “covered arrears” the DOB will not issue permits for new buildings, demolition, place of assembly or major alterations that will change use, egress or occupancy.

The DOB defines “covered arrears” as the following:

  1. Unpaid fines, civil penalties or judgments entered by a court of competent jurisdiction or the environmental control board.
  2. Unpaid and past due fees or other charges lawfully assessed by the commissioner.

Owners are exempt from the law if they are in a binding payment agreement with the DOF, if the DOB determines the permit is necessary for correction, if the building is in foreclosure, among others. See the full list of exceptions here.

Going forward, all owners filing applications or permits must include a certification declaring whether they owe $25,000 in covered arrears, a list of other buildings owned and whether those other buildings have over $25,000 in covered arrears. The city will subsequently audit 25% of these certifications.

Not sure if you have ECB Violations? Check with our simple violations tool.

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