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Padlock FAQ

Padlock Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I file a complaint against an illegal business in a residential neighborhood?

If you have reason to believe that an illegal business is being conducted in a residential neighborhood, you can call 311 the New York City Citizens Service Center to file a complaint.

2. Why was a notice posted on my door to call for an inspection?

A complaint was filed with the Department of Buildings against your property. When the Buildings Department Inspector visited your property to investigate the validity of the complaint, the inspector could not gain access to the premises. The notice was posted so that you would contact the Department of Buildings at (212) 566-4567 or request an inspection online.

3. I received a Warning of Impending Padlock letter stating there is a complaint against my property of illegal commercial and/or manufacturing uses. What should I do?

Correct the observed illegal conditions and call the Padlock Enforcement Unit at (212) 566-4567 or request an re-inspection online to close the complaint. If you have any questions, contact the Padlock Enforcement Unit for additional information and further instructions.

4. Can I operate a business in my home?

Generally, one can operate a business from home if one's business does not occupy more than 25% of one's home or apartment (up to 500 square feet) and one does not have any employees. For information on exceptions and additional limitations on home occupations, please see the definition of "home occupation" under Section 12-10 of the New York City Zoning Resolution from Department of City Planning.

5. Is there assistance in relocating my business?

Yes. If you would like assistance in relocating your business to an appropriate location, you may contact at the Department of Business Solutions at (212) 618-8810.

6. I received a Notice of Petition and Hearing. What should I do? Where do I go? Do I need a lawyer?

You should appear for your hearing on the date and time indicated on the Notice at the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH), 40 Rector Street, Sixth Floor, New York, New York 10006. An Attorney or other authorized representative may represent you, cross-examine witnesses and produce evidence and witnesses in your defense. If you are representing yourself, you may call the assigned Department of Building attorney listed on the Notice of Petition and Hearing to discuss the case.

7. Is a padlocked property for sale by the Department of Buildings?

The Department of Buildings does not engage in the purchase or sale of padlocked properties. You must contact the property owner.

8. My property has been padlocked by Order of the Commissioner. Can I gain access to the property?

If you are the owner, occupant or a person able to prove an interest in the property, access can be obtained for the purposes of correcting the violating conditions or removing items from padlocked premises. The applicant must complete and file a notarized Request for Access to Premises (PE-7) form. Forms can be requested by calling 212 566-4567 or from our forms section.

9. How do I have an Order of Closure removed from my property?

If you would like to have the order of closure against your property rescinded, you must remove all violating uses from the premises and fill out the Rescission of Order of Closure form. Return the completed and notarized form with your original signature to the Padlock Enforcement Unit of the Department of Buildings. The Rescission of Order of Closure (PE-5a) form is available in our forms section or by calling 212 566-4567. If you need access for correction, see answer above regarding access.

10. Who should I contact to find out the status of a Padlock complaint?

Contact the Padlock Enforcement Unit of the New York City Department of Buildings located at 280 Broadway - 5th Floor, New York, New York 10007. The telephone number is (212) 566-4567.

Other Related Links
Violations FAQ
Other Department of Buildings FAQ A-L
Other Department of Buildings FAQ M-Z