- What is an Unsafe Buildings violation?
An Unsafe Buildings (“UB”) violation is a violation issued by a Department of Buildings’ inspector when the premises are considered unsafe or a hazard to its occupant and/or the public. The premises can be considered unsafe when a structure on the property is open, vacant and unguarded or structurally compromised in a way that threatens public safety.
- How do I find out if I have a UB violation against my property?
You can access the information through the Department’s Buildings Information System ("BIS") and enter the borough, block and lot and/or the complete address. Under “DOB Violations” there will be a violation with the letters “UB” in front of the violation number.
- How do I find out whether I owe money under the UB violation?
You can complete a survey fee /cancellation form and we will respond to your request within 5 business days. The form may be submitted in person at the Department of Buildings Unsafe Buildings Unit located at 280 Broadway, 7th Fl. Reception or by mail or fax (212) 566-3843.
- How do I get my UB violation dismissed?
There are several steps you should follow:
You may need to present your survey receipt to the Construction Unit. If the re-inspection confirms that the unsafe condition has been cured, the Borough will dismiss the violation.
- Who should I contact to schedule my re-inspection so that my UB violation can be dismissed?
You must contact the Construction Unit in the borough in which the property is located to request a re-inspection. A Department of Buildings’ inspector will determine whether the violation has been corrected so that it can be dismissed.
- Why do I need a re-inspection of my premises in order to get the UB violation dismissed?
The Department re-inspects the premises to verify that the unsafe building condition has been corrected and that you have followed all applicable laws and regulations.
- What is a survey?
The UB Unit brings court proceedings against unsafe buildings in NY State Supreme Court. Before bringing the case in court, a survey (inspection) of the building is performed. A survey is an inspection conducted by a Department of Buildings’ inspector and an architect or engineer. The owner or interested party is allowed to have an architect or engineer of their own participate in the survey. Based on this survey, a report is issued describing the condition of the premises and recommending an action that the City might take to remove the UB condition. The provisions that apply to these proceedings are located in the Administrative Provisions for the NYC Construction Codes Sections 28-216.1 through 28-216.11.
- What is a survey fee?
The survey fee is currently $100. This fee covers the cost of the independent architect or engineer who accompanied the Department of Buildings’ inspector on the survey. The survey fee must be paid before the violation can be dismissed. (The fee is not a fine or penalty). For information regarding payment of the fee, please contact the UB unit.
- I have received a Notice of Survey and Summons. I am doing work on the property. Can I get the survey cancelled and stop the court case from going forward?
To determine if this is possible contact the Construction Unit in the borough in which the premise is located to inform the Department of your work to correct the UB condition. If the Construction Division determines that you have corrected the UB condition, you must also contact the Unsafe Buildings Unit so that the survey may be cancelled and the case removed from the court calendar.
If the survey has already occurred, you must pay the $100.00 survey fee before getting the UB violation dismissed.
- What is a Lis Pendens?
A Lis Pendens notifies the public of a court proceeding pending against the premises. It is a document filed in the New York State County Clerk’s Office in the borough in which the premises is located. It is filed at the same time the Department commences an Unsafe Building proceeding against the premises.
- What is a “Consent to Cancel Lis Pendens” and where do I go to get it?
A “Consent to Cancel Lis Pendens” is a document issued by the Unsafe Buildings Unit. To lift the Lis Pendens you must file this document with the County Clerk’s Office in the borough in which the property is located. To obtain the cancellation, contact the Unsafe Buildings Unit by phone or in person and request a “Consent to Cancel Lis Pendens.” You may also complete a survey fee/cancellation form and submit by mail to Department of Buildings Unsafe Buildings Unit, 280 Broadway 7th Fl. Reception, New York, NY 10007 or by fax to (212) 566-3843. We generally respond to such requests within 5 business days.
Upon receipt of your request the Unsafe Buildings Unit will conduct research to determine whether you have paid your survey fee, if the premises have been re-inspected, if the Unsafe Buildings violation has been dismissed and/or you owe any additional money to the City for work performed on the premises pursuant to a Precept (Court Order).
Be advised, even if you purchased the property with existing unsafe building violations that have not been dismissed, you are still responsible for the resolution of the violation. However, if all penalties have been paid and there are no outstanding issues, the Unsafe Buildings Unit will issue a “Consent to Cancel Lis Pendens.”
- Where do I take the “Consent to Cancel Lis Pendens” after it is issued?
Take the “Consent to Cancel Lis Pendens” to the County Clerk’s Office in the borough in which the property is located (see list below) and make a request to the Clerk to cancel the Lis Pendens.
New York County Supreme Court - 60 Centre Street, Basement, New York, NY 10007
Bronx County Supreme Court - 851 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10451
Kings County Supreme Court - 360 Adams Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Queens County Supreme Court - 88-11 Sutphin Boulevard, Jamaica, NY 11435
Richmond County Supreme Court - 18 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, NY 10301
- I am not the owner nor do I have an interest in the premise but I’ve received a Notice of Survey and Summons. How do I get out of this court case?
You should contact Unsafe Buildings Unit and be prepared to provide information indicating that you do not or no longer have an interest in the premises. You should also contact the NYC Department of Finance to let them know that you do not own the premises or have an interest in the premises.
- What is a Precept?
A Precept is a court order authorizing the City to perform work on your property in order to remove the Unsafe Building condition.
- A Precept (“Court Order”) has been issued against my property but I want to do the work to correct the unsafe condition myself. How can I stop the City from doing work on my property pursuant to the Precept?
You must immediately contact the Department of Buildings’ Borough Commissioner for the borough in which the property is located and request that a ‘Hold’ be placed on the execution of the Precept. You must be able to show the Borough Commissioner that you are in the process of filing the appropriate applications for a permit to perform the necessary work on the property. If the City has not already performed the work under the Precept, the Borough Commissioner’s Office will determine whether to place a hold. For details regarding the Hold procedure, please refer to the Unsafe Buildings Information sheet.
- I am a certified architect or a professional engineer. I would like to conduct Unsafe Buildings surveys. How do I get information on this process?
If you are interested in becoming a surveyor, please see our Surveyor Information Sheet.