Getting an FDNY Notice of Violation: What to Do?
An FDNY Notice of Violation (NOV) is an official document indicating that a property is not compliant with the NYC Fire Code, the Fire Department Rules, or both. Two main aspects must be addressed to close a NOV:
- A hearing and fine, which are managed by the Environmental Control Board (ECB).
- Making the building compliant, getting approval from the FDNY.
When a building owner gets an FDNY violation, correcting the issues described is always mandatory. However, the owner may be waived from the ECB hearing and financial penalty in some cases. Serious fire hazards result in a Violation Order instead of a Notice of Violation, requiring immediate action without a scheduled hearing.
First-time offenders who get a Notice of Violation may be offered a cure date. The offender can avoid the ECB hearing and penalty by meeting three conditions before this date:
- Admitting guilt for the infraction against the NYC fire code or FDNY rules
- Correcting all the issues described in the Notice of Violation
- Submitting a Certificate of Correction to the NYC Fire Department
The FDNY accepts Certificates of Correction directly or by mail, but keep in mind that the cure date may be missed if the certificate is mailed. As long as the certificate is accepted before the cure date, you do not have to attend the hearing, your are waived from penalties, and the violation status is changed to cured. You will get a Notice of Correction card, also known as a yellow card, which means that no further action is required by the FDNY for that specific violation.
Note that some FDNY violations have a mandatory hearing: You can avoid the fine by correcting the issue before the cure date, but you must still attend the ECB hearing. All FDNY violations are issued to named respondents that can be individuals, companies, or other entities. However, each violation is tied to a property in the FDNY records.
The Certificate of Correction is a mandatory requirement, even if you cannot fix the issue before the cure date. You can no longer avoid the ECB hearing and fine after this date, but the certificate is still required as proof of compliance.