Understanding and Objecting to Charges Under NYC’s Emergency Repair Program
The New York City Emergency Repair Program (ERP) is a critical initiative under the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). This program plays a vital role in ensuring that residential buildings comply with safety and health standards. However, for building owners and landlords, the ERP can be a costly and invasive program to deal with. This post aims to provide clarity on the ERP and information regarding how property owners can effectively object to charges under this program.
Overview of NYC’s Emergency Repair Program
The Emergency Repair Program is activated when residential owners fail to correct violations in a timely manner. HPD, along with contractors, may undertake necessary repair work to address class “C” immediately hazardous violations, including those related to the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) Orders and Emergency Declarations, elevator violations, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) Commissioner’s Orders, and other housing-related conditions.
Key Points of the ERP:
Charge to Property Owners: The expenses incurred by HPD for repair work are charged to the property where the repairs occur. These charges can be significantly more expensive than what an owner might independently pay for timely remedial work.
Tax Lien Consequences: Unpaid HPD repair charges become a tax lien against the property, bearing interest and potential foreclosure if they remain unpaid.
Avoiding Charges: Owners can avoid charges by timely correcting violations and certifying such corrections to HPD.
Disputing Charges under ERP
Property owners may find themselves in situations where they disagree with the charges levied under the ERP. The process for disputing these charges is detailed but must be followed precisely to ensure a successful objection.
Steps to Dispute Charges:
Submit Objection in Writing: Objections, also known as administrative protests, to HPD repair charges must be made in writing and delivered to the HPD Research and Reconciliation Unit by the payment due date on the DOF statement of account.
Adherence to NYC Administrative Code: Objections are governed by specific sections of the New York City Administrative Code and the Rules of the City of New York.
Timeliness: A failure to submit a written objection by the due date negates the right to contest the charge in future proceedings.
Implications for Property Owners
For property owners, understanding the ERP and the process of objecting to charges is crucial. Not only does this impact financial liabilities, but it also has implications for property maintenance and legal compliance.
Recommendations for Property Owners:
Proactive Compliance: Regularly inspect and maintain properties to avoid hazardous violations that trigger ERP interventions.
Timely Response: Address any HPD violations promptly and certify corrections to avoid unnecessary charges.
Legal Consultation: Seek advice from a knowledgeable attorney specializing in NYC property law to navigate the objection process effectively.
ERP: A Costly Intervention That Can Be Avoided With Diligence in Inspection and Repair
The NYC Emergency Repair Program serves an essential function in maintaining the safety and habitability of residential buildings. However, property owners must be vigilant in managing their properties to prevent ERP interventions and be prepared to object to charges when necessary, following the outlined guidelines and legal procedures.
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