New York will impose higher fines for property owners who repeatedly violate building codes and have left them unaddressed under a new law approved this week by Gov. Kathy Hochul.
The measure is meant to address properties that have fallen into violation and owners have not addressed the problems following a cure period.
The law imposes a minimum fine of $25 a day after 180 days of a property being in violation. A minimum violation of a property not being addressed of $50 a day would be imposed after 360 days.
The maximum violation remains $1,000 a day as levied by a court.
Lawmakers who backed the bill said the tougher fine structure is meant to push municipal governments to act faster on properties that are not up to code and have languished for months with token fines put in place.
“While the $1,000 a day maximum is a severe penalty, the truth is, it is almost never used. In fact, far too many violations can languish for months or years without any fines actually being levied," Zebrowski said. "By establishing mandatory minimum fines, this new law will ensure some financial penalties start to accrue after a violation remains unabated. It is well past time for the culture of ‘build now, ask for forgiveness later’ to end."
Code violations can have dangerous impacts for residents as well as first responders who may have to enter the property. And lawmakers said the new fines are meant to end a culture of poor compliance.
“Across New York, many renters live under absentee landlords and fear that landlords will retaliate if they report code violations in their homes," May said. "This legislation has the teeth to hold repeat offenders accountable for their bad management practices by denying them access to more properties and implementing increasing fines for failure to fix existing issues in their current properties. Everyone deserves a safe and healthy place to call home."