What the DOB
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
- 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
- building owners
- members of the construction industry
whose work is regulated for the safety of the Citywide community
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
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
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.