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Full Stop Work Order Served Means What?

NYC Rent Regulation: Rent Control/Rent Stabilized, DHCR Practice/Procedures

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Full Stop Work Order Served Means What?

Postby greenslade » Fri Jul 01, 2011 7:20 pm

When a building has a "Full Stop Work Order" (DOB code A3) placed on it, what is a landlord allowed to do in the way of repairs while the SWO is in effect? Or more particularly, what is a landlord NOT ALLOWED to do?

DOB's site says:

"Full Stop Work Order: Stops all work on a construction site or building, excluding any necessary remedial work to make the site safe."


1. This is vague at best. What does "work" mean?
2. Does "to make the site safe," mean a landlord is allowed to correct DHPD Class C violations and/or DOB Class 1 violations even while and SWO is in effect?
3. Does a Full SWO only apply to work that requires a DOB permit?
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Postby TenantNet » Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:13 pm

Not vague at all. Presumably the work violated the DOB rules in any one of a number of ways, or maybe didn't have a valid permit. In any case they can't resume work until the SWO is lifted. If that means they have to put in place conditions to make the workplace safe, that's what it says.

Don't try to see some deep dark meaning here; go with the simple plain English meaning.
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Postby greenslade » Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:35 pm

I don't think I made myself clear.

The FSWO was issued and, after it was issued, all sorts of work was done in a huge hurry to correct numerous other violations on the building, some minor, some major. The FWSO was issued for major work that was being done without a permit.

To be specific: does an FSWO prohibit a landlord from doing repairs other than to correct the situation that gave rise to the FSWO or other "emergency" or "immediately hazardous" violation corrections? It is my understanding that an FWSO prohibits work of any kind except "to make safe," ie hazard, emergency. Is that correct?

IN OTHER WORDS:

Can a landlord whose building is under an FSWO, spackle some cracks and paint the hallway (ie: work that doesn't require a DOB permit) or obtain any other permit for work not related to the work that gave rise to the FWSO while that FWSO is still in effect? Are FWSO's specific or general?

Please help.
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Postby TenantNet » Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:52 pm

Yes they can do other work unrelated to the condition or location that gave rise to the SWO. That presumes they have the proper permits for the other work, if permits are needed.

Let's say they were doing construction on the first floor and DOB issued a SWO for lack of permits. They can still do minor work on other floors, i.e., painting, plastering or even construction on another floor if there are permits for that. They can't do work in the location on the first floor in the area where the construction was occurring other than cure the condition that gave rise to the SWO.
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Postby greenslade » Sat Jul 02, 2011 2:43 pm

Thanks for the input. I wonder, do you know where DOB and/or ECB spells out in black & white exactly what can and cannot be done while a Full Stop Work Order is in effect? The language I quoted in my first post seems to contradict what you said as does "Sky" in this other thread http://www.tenant.net/phpBB2/viewtopic. ... &&start=15

A DOB Chief I spoke with said they can't do anything until the SWO is resolved (except for emergency, etc.) but when I've spoken to other DOB people they say otherwise.

This is why I want it in writing, if it exists and is available to the public.
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Postby TenantNet » Sat Jul 02, 2011 2:54 pm

Asked and answered. When it refers to a building, the language refers to a site where a building is being constructed. If the "construction site" is really just a particular floor, or unit, or area within a building, it means that specific area.

This is not metaphysics. Don't beat yourself silly over this. Use your common sense. A SWO on illegal construction on the 6th floor does not mean they can't do legal (and permitted) work on the first floor. If the illegal construction covers the entire building, then it means the entire building.

Use common sense.

What you're looking for does not exist.
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Postby greenslade » Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:16 pm

Pardon me, but I find your tone insulting and offensive. I appreciate your answering my posts but your rudeness is not appreciated.
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Postby lappert » Sat Jul 02, 2011 5:26 pm

Ask a dumb question...
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Postby Sky » Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:16 am

I've come to this thread late.

I've had a lot of experience with DOB and Stop Work Orders, but I am by no means an authority. The following is my interpretation of the various Orders after consulting with various DOB personnel, including construction chiefs, and I've quoted from an affidavit submitted by the DOB regarding SWOs that was submitted to the Supreme Court.

1. This is vague at best. What does "work" mean?
2. Does "to make the site safe," mean a landlord is allowed to correct DHPD Class C violations and/or DOB Class 1 violations even while and SWO is in effect?
3. Does a Full SWO only apply to work that requires a DOB permit?


1.
A Partial Stop Work Order means that specific permit-based work cannot be performed on the subject premises.

A Full Stop Work Order means that NO permit-based work whatsoever can be performed on the subject premises. Having a dozen active permits for work in different parts of the building doesn't matter: FULL STOP WORK order. PERIOD.


2.
"Make the site safe" does not automatically mean that DHPD class 'C" violations can be repaired. In fact, the owner may have been in the process of repairing a DHPD class 'C' violation when he incurred the SWO and was ordered to cease work. Unsafe conditions can exist, even conditions immediately perilous to life, and the owner will not be permitted to repair them while the SWO is in effect. I'm not sure what 'Make the site safe' actually means. If there's a cascading water leak, the DOB could just as easily have the FDNY shut off all water in the building as allow an emergency plumbing repair to 'make safe'. Frequently the DOB issues Vacate Orders or Partial Vacate Orders to deal with life threatening unsafe conditions.


3.
To the best of my knowledge 'routine maintenance', minor work that is not permit-based, can proceed on the subject premises while the latter is under a SWO. [See also third to last paragraph below].

---------------------------------------
From the DOB:

"After an SWO has been issued, the SWO will not be rescinded unless and until the party to whom the order was given has, a.) requested a re-inspection of the building or job-site, and b.) such re-inspection has determined that a recision is warranted. Oftentimes, additional documentation such as one or more work permits and/or engineers' reports may be required for rescission. Also, the mere acquisition of a work permit does not cause the SWO to be rescinded."

"In the event that, in addition to the issuance of the SWO, a DOB inspector observes that work has been performed without a permit, or beyond the scope of a permit, DOB will issue a civil penalty."

"When a civil penalty has been assessed against the owner of a building, DOB will not issue a work permit to the owner until after the civil penalty has been paid."

---------------------------------------


In addition, violations and civil penalties will be issued for failure to obey active SWOs. I believe new regulations were passed in recent years that increase civil penalties exponentially for successive repeat violations for failure to obey active SWOs. It can become very costly for an owner to repeatedly get caught violating a SWO, and this may have an impact on an owner being unwilling to perform any repairs, even if they are minor, while the premises is under a Stop Work Order.


You can ascertain the status of SWO, violations, civil penalties, etc. by accessing the DOB website and doing a property search for your address. The DOB's online records while not telling the entire story, are pretty comprehensive.

Hopefully the above will assist with a better understanding of Stop Work Orders.

-Sky
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Re: Full Stop Work Order Served Means What?

Postby just_neuman » Sun May 13, 2018 12:55 am

@sky
We received a SWO on our residential apartment renovation because the architect had his filing privileges revoked. We are working on getting the SWO removed, which we understand can take a number of days. However, in the meantime our co-op will not allow us to even bring up the floor staining and painting crew into the apartment, even though that type of work does not require a DOB permit (see https://www1.nyc.gov/site/buildings/hom ... rooms.page). Is there any way we can get a confirmation that this type of work (minor alterations) is allowed even when a SWO is in place?

It seems logical and obvious that work that does not otherwise require a DOB-permit would be permitted even when a SWO is in place but I have not been able to find clear guidance on this point on the DOB website. For example, the DOB just says that when a SWO is instituted "All work is prohibited, excluding remedial work required to make the site safe, as authorized by the Commissioner."

There is no indication as to what "work" means. I am hoping to confirm that this refers only to work that requires a DOB permit. Where can I confirm this position?

We are in a bit of a time crunch because we are scheduled to move by the end of the month and if the floors are not complete we won’t be able to move!

Thanks very much!
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Re: Full Stop Work Order Served Means What?

Postby TenantNet » Sun May 13, 2018 2:24 am

Just_Newman, you've posted in a thread that is seven years old. No one will read it. Please start a new thread (and being a new user, please read the forum rules)

BTW, there is no "@sky." This is not twitter.

Also, this is tenant.net. Seems you might want landlord.net or coop-owner.net. Your question really has nothing to do with tenants rights.
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