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PROMOTING EXCELLENCE IN NYC MULTI-FAMILY BUILDING OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE

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NYC Department of Buildings FAQs

 
     
   

How can I obtain the original building plans for my property? If your plans are in the Departmentís inventory, you can obtain copies of the plans from the Records Room in the borough office where the property is located.

What must I provide the Records Room Clerk to obtain copies of records? You will need a photo I.D. and either the property block/lot number or application number for a specific project. Block/lot and application numbers are available from DOBís property database, known as BIS (Building Information System). BIS information can be accessed from DOBís Public Access Terminals located in each borough office, or by logging on to DOBís website, NYC.gov/buildings.

How do I find information on the owner of a property? Contact the Citizen Service Center at 311.

How do I obtain a copy of a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) for a particular property? You can obtain a copy of the document at the borough office in which the property is located (a fee is charged for each copy). Before proceeding to the C of O Unit, you must obtain the C of O number for the particular property from a Public Access Terminal.

Buildings constructed prior to 1938 were not required to have C of O's. My building does not have one. How do I show the legal use of the property?

DOB can provide you with a Letter of No Certificate of Occupancy or a Letter of No Objection, which confirm that a C of O does not exist for your building. To obtain a copy, you must go to the borough office where the property is located. See the Borough Manager or Customer Service Representative who will direct you to the appropriate unit. Be sure to bring any materials you have (old property surveys, deeds, water bills, tax assessments, etc.) to demonstrate the longstanding use of the property.

What liability/responsibility do I have if I buy a property that has a Temporary C of O (TCO)?

Upon transfer of deed, a homeowner assumes all liability that exists on the property. We suggest you consult with the Borough Manager or Borough Commissioner where the property is located and/or consult an attorney prior to the purchase of the property.

How do I obtain a permit? The law requires that you hire a registered architect or licensed engineer to prepare a construction application and associated plans for submission to DOB. Upon the acceptance/approval of the application and plans, your contractor may obtain a permit and begin construction.

My property has an open violation against it. How can I clear this up? Call 311. A representative will advise you of the nature of the violation and the DOB location that you must contact. For violations that were heard (or will be heard) before the Environmental Control Board (ECB), you may also wish to contact ECB directly.

How do I make an appointment for an inspection?

For construction and plumbing, contact the borough office where the property is located. For elevators, boilers and electrical work, contact those divisions.

Can you recommend an architect or engineer to consult and/or draw up plans? DOB employees are not permitted to make recommendations. You may obtain assistance by calling one of the professional associations such as your local chapter of the American Institute of Architects or the NY State Society of Professional Engineers.

Who can I call concerning unprofessional conduct from an architect or engineer? Contact the New York State Education Department, Office of the Professionals at 518-474-3817 or DOBís Investigation and Discipline Unit at 212-442-2000.

The above provides general guidelines. If you have specific questions, call the DOB office in your borough. For comprehensive information about DOB, to check the status of a filing on the Building Information System (BIS), and to download plan/work approval forms and the Building Code, visit NYC.gov/buildings.

 

 
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