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PROMOTING EXCELLENCE IN NYC MULTI-FAMILY BUILDING OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE

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Porters, Handymen, and Doorman, or PHD's Blog
 
The Department of Buildings (DOB)
 

What the DOB does
The New York City Department of Buildings enforces standards for the construction and use of buildings within the five boroughs, to ensure the safety of the public.

It does this by administering and enforcing the city's Building code, electrical Code and zoning Resolution, New York State Labor Law and New York State Multiple Dwelling Law.

To meet it's mandate, the Department

  • Reviews applications and plans for new construction, and the alteration or demolition plans of existing structures
  • Issues building permits
  • Performs inspections of new or substantially altered buildings to assure that construction has been completed according to the appropriate codes and laws, then issues Certificates of Occupancy (C of O)
  • Performs periodic inspections of elevators and certain types of boilers
  • Licenses various construction trades, including plumbers, electricians and crane operators
  • Investigates complaints, typically concerning illegal construction or zoning infractions
  • Updates the Building Code to reflect social and technological innovations

Members of the general public typically come to the Department of Buildings to obtain property records, register complaints or resolve violations. The Department's most frequent customers are

  • building owners
  • developers
  • architects
  • engineers
  • members of the construction industry whose work is regulated for the safety of the Citywide community

The Borough Offices

DOB consists of operating offices in each borough and an Executive office in Manhattan where policy is formulated and agency wide administrative, technical and legal activities occur.

There are also centralized offices for the Boiler division, Elevator Division and Bureau of Electrical Control. The Boiler Division and Bureau of Electrical Control also maintain inspectors in each borough.

The day to day relationship between DOB and its customers generally takes place in the borough offices where applications and plans are examined, construction permits are issued, and inspections are scheduled for projects or in response to complaints.

Each borough office also serves its local community by responding to complaints and emergencies between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm, weekdays.
The complaint numbers for each borough should be used to report illegal work, illegal occupancy, or a possible structural problem.

Events that occur during non-business hours which are deemed hazardous or a threat to public safety will be responded to by DOB's Emergency Response Team. Emergency situations that occur after 4:00 pm or on weekends and holidays should be reported to a central number: 212-312-8293. If the staff is unavailable, a recorded message should be left.

Building Maintenance Complaints
Complaints about building maintenance -- for example heat, paint, leaks, rodents, etc. -- are not under the jurisdiction of DOB. They should be directed to the building owner or property manager. If that is ineffective, such complaints should be reported to the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) at 212-960-4800 or to the New York city Department of Health Pest Control at 718-956-7103.

Suggestions or complaints regarding service should be brought to the attention of the respective Borough Manager, Borough Commissioner, or Unit Head.

Improprieties/Ethics Complaints
If an illegality or impropriety is involved, report this directly to the Inspector General's Office at 212-825-2413 or DOB's Office of Investigations, Audits and Discipline at 212-442-2000.

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