This response assumes that the order came from the Los Angeles Dept of Building and Safety.
The short answer: you do not want to ignor a B&S order to comply.
The long answer: Failure to comply means that they will escalate their process as follows:
1. you will get a warning to comply by a certain date
2. you will get fined with a final warning to comply
3. the City will file a substandard lien against your property title, meaning that the property will be unmarketable
Municipal liens against title can only be released by the filing entity through compliance with the City's order. Once liens are filed, your penalty and interest on your fine will probably triple from your original fine, in addition to the cost of corrective work.
If you try to re-sell this property without compliance but before any substandard lien has been filed, the City of LA 9-A Report will alert the buyer to the Notice to Comply, which will likely jeopardize your sale unless you take corrective action.
Hope this information helps.
California DRE Broker #01142186
Keller Williams Realty
1660 Hillhurst Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027
C - 323-230-9749
O - 323-300-1110
F - 323-300-1001
If you feel super-strongly about your case and you want to spend lots of money to prove you are right, then you can hire an experience attorney (if you contact me I can refer you to one) and fight the city from the beginning... but it will not be cheap, and you are likely to lose, since they have more money and staff attorneys. Do not ignore the issue as it will not go away.
Best of luck!
BTW, I am a local broker and general contractor, if you want a more specific answer contact my office directly.
Ron Escobar, MBA
Broker & General Contractor
DRE 01460645 CSLB 917824
Believe me as a general contractor for the past 3 decades I can tell you that it's a battle you won't often win. Depending on the situation you could get fined daily at the discretion of the jurisdiction. Or you could have leins levied on the property. What's the issue. Maybe I can help guide you through is a bit. I'm not an attorney and can't offer up any legal advice but I do know how the building dept system works and have pulled permits and done projects in practically every county in the State of California.
The response by Meredith is absolutely accurate although depending on the violation report it can eventually lead to a criminal violation. I would certainly advise you seek additional advise from the above mentioned contractor.
The Bremner Group at Coldwell Banker
REALTOR, 00588885, ABR, CDPE, eAgent, CSP, SFR, HRC, CRE
(O) 310-571-1364 DIRECT
(D) (310) 800-2954