Violations & Vacates



The NYC Construction Codes require owners to build and maintain their properties in safe condition. Inspectors issue OATH/ECB violations when property or construction doesn’t comply with NYC Construction Codes, Zoning Resolution and other applicable laws and rules. Open violations can prevent an owner from selling or refinancing.


OATH/ECB Violations

The most commonly issued violation is the OATH/ECB Notice of Violation. There are three classes of OATH/ECB violations:

  • Class 1 (Immediately Hazardous)
  • Class 2 (Major); and
  • Class 3 (Lesser)

Mobile Electronic Violations

The Department of Buildings is piloting mobile electronic violations for OATH Summonses and DOB Violations. Following are the notable changes:

  • Violations are electronically generated, signed and printed by the inspector onsite
  • Information is typed instead of handwritten
  • OATH Summons number starts with 039; DOB Violation number starts with VIO
  • Penalty amounts are provided on OATH Summons

View the new format. The process for respondents to cure conditions and respond to violations has not changed and the violation and summons information is still available in the Buildings Information System (BIS).

Resolving OATH/ECB Violations

ECB violation information is included in the online Buildings Information System (BIS) and appears in property title searches. Open – or uncorrected – violations can prevent an owner from selling, refinancing, or obtaining a new Certificate of Occupancy or Letter of Completion.

To resolve an OATH/ECB Violation, you must:

DOB Violations

As with ECB violations, DOB violation information is public and will appear in a property title search. Open violations can prevent an owner from selling or refinancing. The Department will not issue new or amended Certificates of Occupancy or Letters of Completion when DOB violations remain active.

Fines & Penalties

Some DOB violations may have fines attached, such as failure to file required annual boiler or elevator reports. However, there is no court appearance associated with a DOB violation. DOB violations issued for serious conditions may result in a Criminal Court summons being issued and prosecution.

Resolving DOB Violations

Property owners must correct the issues listed in the DOB violation. Once completed, provide supporting documentation that shows the work has been performed to the Unit that issued the violation. The Team will then dismiss the violation. These Units typically operate in the borough office where the property is located, though some Units – such as Boilers and Elevators – may operate at the Department’s headquarters in Manhattan.

The Buildings Information System (BIS) provides complaint, violation, and background information on nearly all of the 975,000 properties under the Department’s jurisdiction.


The City may issue a Vacate Order to ensure public safety from damaged buildings, illegal conditions, or dangerous conditions that may exist on or near the property. The amount of time a vacate order is in effect depends on the severity of the problem and how soon an unsafe condition is corrected. Details are provided on the stickers posted on the property.

You can request information about vacate orders from the Construction Division Office in the borough where the building is located. This office's contact information will be listed on the Vacate Order:

Bronx (718) 960-4730
Brooklyn (718) 802-3685 or (718) 802-3684
Manhattan (212) 393-2553
Queens (718) 286-8360
Staten Island (718) 420-5418

People are not allowed to enter structures or buildings that have vacate orders in effect. If you have seen people in the building but they have already left, you can file a report. Violations are issued when appropriate.

The Department reserves the right to vacate premises, if upon inspection, conditions are deemed to pose an eminent danger to its occupants. Under such circumstances, a Vacate Order would be posted on a visible surface of the building advising occupants of their need to leave the premises.

The City can immediately vacate unsafe, illegal apartments or rooms. Landlords can be fined up to $25,000 and face other penalties. Additional notices of violation may accompany the issuance of a Vacate Order. Vacate orders are rescinded upon correction of the matter for which the order was given.

To learn more about illegal living spaces or to request a Buildings Department inspection, contact 311ONLINE.

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