As a New York City building owner, it isn’t easy to avoid HPD violations. There are so many ways you can misstep the law and so many regulations and deadlines to keep up with. Getting a violation is serious business. It can be used as a premise for a criminal court summons and may carry high penalties and fines. In addition, an open violation on a building can get in the way of the building’s sale and will halt all construction plans until the violation is removed.
As the City’s leading compliance service, we can guide you through your coding and safety procedures and ensure you always remain compliant. Let’s take a look at five common HPD violations and how to remove them.
HPD VIOLATION #1: SELF CLOSING DOORS
The requirement: In an attempt to prevent the spread of fires, LL62 of 2022 mandated that all doors providing access to interior corridors or stairs in R-1 and R-2 occupancy groups must be self-closing. In addition, LL63 of 22 amended the law that owners are required to keep and maintain these door in good condition.
If you are non-compliant: Failure for maintaining a self-closing door may make you liable for a class C immediately hazardous violation. These violations can result penalties as steep as $250-$500 a day from the date set for correction until the violation is corrected. LL63 changed the time to correct a violation from 21 days to 14 days. Falsely certifying a correction can run as steep as $500- $1000 per violation. In addition, if the violation remain open and not corrected, the City can assign an HPD Emergency Crew to complete the repairs and invoice the fees, costs and charges back to the Owner. So non-compliance can come with a pretty hefty price tag.
To remove the violation: Complete a COC and retain a photo of the repaired door for your records
HPD VIOLATION #2: Lack of Proper Heat and Water
The requirement: Building owners are legally required to provide heat and hot water to their tenants. Hot water must be provided 365 days a year, and maintained at a minimum temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat must be provided throughout “Heat Season”, which runs from Oct. 1st through May 31st each year. During the daytime hours of 6 a.m. through 10 p.m., if the temperature outside falls below 55 degrees, the inside temperature must be at least 68 degrees. At night, from 10 p.m. though 6 a.m., the inside temperature must be maintained at a minimum of 62 degrees.
If you are non-compliant: Failure to comply with the heat and water requirement can result in a Notice of Violation (NOV) as well as penalties, which are effective on the posting date until the violation is corrected. Penalties can run from $250-$500 per day for each initial heat or water violation. Each subsequent violation in the same building during the same or the next calendar year can result in a penalty of $500-$1000 per day. If the owner fails to pay the penalties, HPD will enter a judgment against the owner and the property.
To remove the violation: Eligible property owners can fix the violation within 24 hours of the violation posting, and submit the penalty amount within 10 days, along with a timely Notice of Correction.
HPD VIOLATION #3: Failure to Provide Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
The requirement: New York City law requires the installation and maintenance of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in all multiple dwelling units. As of April 2019, all smoke detectors must be powered by a sealed, non-removable battery with a minimum of 10 years or hard-wired to the home. Carbon monoxide detectors must be equipped with an end-of-life alarm. All detectors must be audible from all rooms in the dwelling. Property owners must ensure the detectors are always in working order and replace them as soon as they expire. In addition, the owner must post notices regarding carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in each building.
If you are non-compliant: If a property owner fails to install smoke detectors, they can be facing fines of up to $1,000 per day of violation and even possible imprisonment.
To remove the violation: Install or replace the detectors. Keep, and provide upon request, records relating to the installation and maintenance of these detectors.
HPD VIOLATION #4: Lead Paint Hazards
The requirement: Ensure all units in buildings built pre-1960 are complete free of lead-based paint. If lead is presumed to be present in your building, or was actually found, you’ll need to provide copies of the abatement paperwork and lab test results of the dust wipes taken after any work was performed in your building. As per LL31, ALL units must undergo XRF testing by August 9, 2025. In addition, as per LL123, ALL units must undergo lead abatement steps, including friction surface removal on doors and windows by July 2027.
If you are non-compliant: If you fail to perform any of these remediations, you may be issued a Class C violation and may be required to produce your lead-related records. In addition, as per LL123, having any lead-based violations can cause your property to be chosen for a proactive inspection and audit.
To remove the violation: First, remediate the lead-based hazard. Next, have a dust wipe clearance test performed by an EPA-certified lead inspector or risk assessor. Submit a Certificate of Correction (COC) to the HPD, along with sworn statements from the Lead Abatement Contractor and Dust Wipe Contractor, the results of the dust wipe clearance testing, as well as the EPA certifications of both contractors. After you submit all the required paperwork, the HPD will arrange for a re-inspection to confirm that the hazard has been successfully removed. If the lead hazard has indeed been eradicated, the violation will be removed. As per LL123, you may also be required to provide up to 10 years of documentation.
HPD VIOLATION #5: Lack of Proper Pest Control
The requirement: Building owners must keep their properties free of all pests, including bedbugs. They must know how to best treat a bedbug infestation, frequently check for the presence of pests and eliminate any conditions that can trigger an infestation. Property owners of multiple-dwelling buildings must also file an annual bedbug report with the HPD.
If you are non-compliant: If your tenants are aware of the presence of bedbugs in one of your buildings, they can file a bedbug complaint with the HPD by calling 311. They will then be given the option of having an inspection performed by an HPD inspector. If a visual inspection confirms the presence of bedbugs or eggs, an NOV will be issued. In addition, if you fail to submit a bedbug report by the annual Dec. 31 deadline, an NOV will be issued as well.
To remove the violation: Record all the remedial actions you take and present the City with an HPD NOV Certificate of Corrections, which you can obtain by making a sworn statement testifying that you’ve followed the corrective actions issued in the Order.
HPD violations are never fun, but with identifying the key problem areas, you can hopefully avoid these violations altogether. However, if you do receive an HPD violation, there’s no need to sweat it. Using Jaffa’s powerful compliance tools and services, we can help you resolve them as quickly as possible and avoid additional penalties.