How current events impact business & real estate

Thursday, December 17, 2020

New Laws for Building Owners on Alterations Impeding Emergency Egress and Disposal of Construction and Demolition Waste

On December 15, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed Senate Bill 1714 into law which effectively amends Section 382 of the Executive Law. Effective immediately, the new law imposes a civil penalty of up to $7,500 on building owners who make alterations to their buildings which violate the uniform fire prevention and building code and which block access to an egress during a fire or other emergency. The penalty is imposed on building owners who have or should have had knowledge of such impediment.

Building owners must ensure compliance with the uniform fire prevention and building code or risk exposure to not only the civil penalty imposed by the new law, but also to liability for any other damages and injuries which could have been avoided if the building was up to code.

Moreover, building owners should also be aware of the new law which criminalizes the improper disposal of construction and demolition waste. Effective December 15, 2020, any person who knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally disposes of construction and demolition waste and/or hazardous substances may be convicted of a crime with fines of up to $300,000 for a class C felony, be ordered to restore the property where the wastes were released to its original state and pay for costs for the disposal and restoration of the property, twice the amount of any gain from the crime, and be subjected to any other sentence authorized by law, including imprisonment.

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