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Unsafe Building

Unsafe Buildings Violation Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What is an Unsafe Buildings violation?

    An Unsafe Buildings ("UB") violation is a violation issued by a Department inspector when the premises is considered unsafe or a hazard to its occupants and/or the public. The premises can be considered unsafe or a hazard when a structure on the property is open, vacant and unguarded or when a structure is compromised in a way that threatens public safety.


  2. 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. The violation number will contain the letters "UB."


  3. 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. You can mail or fax the form. Even if you have just purchased the property, it is still your responsibility to clear the UB violation and pay any monies owed to the City for work done on the premises.

  4. How do I get my UB violation dismissed?

    There are several steps you should follow:

    • complete work on the UB premises to correct the unsafe condition.
    • contact the Unsafe Buildings Unit to pay your survey fee.
    • contact the Department's Construction Units in the borough in which the premises is located to schedule a re-inspection and present the survey fee receipt.

    Based on the Borough's re-inspection confirming that the unsafe condition has been cured, the Borough will dismiss the violation.

  5. 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 premises is located to request a re-inspection and a Buildings inspector will determine whether the violation has been corrected so that it can be dismissed.

  6. Why do I need a re-inspection of my premises in order to get my UB violation dismissed?

    The Department re-inspects the premises to verify that the unsafe building condition has been corrected and that you have followed the law and Department rules, regulations and procedures in doing so.

  7. What is a survey?

    The UB Unit brings proceedings against unsafe buildings in NY State Supreme Court. Before bringing the case in court, the Code requires that a survey of the building be performed. A survey is an inspection generally conducted by a Buildings inspector and an independent architect or engineer pursuant to the Notice of Survey and Summons. The owner or interested party is allowed to have a practical builder, architect or engineer participate in the survey. Based on the survey, a report is issued describing the condition of the premises and recommending actions to remove the UB condition. The provisions that apply to these proceedings are located in Administrative Code sections 26-235 through 26-242.

  8. What is a survey fee?

    The survey fee is currently $100.00. This fee covers the cost of the independent architect or engineer who accompanied the Buildings inspector on the survey (the inspection) pursuant to the Notice of Survey and Summons. The survey fee must be paid before violation can be dismissed. (That fee is not a fine or penalty.) For information regarding payment of the fee, please contact the UB unit.

  9. 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?

    Yes. You must contact the Construction Unit in the borough in which the premises 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.

    However, if the survey has already occurred, you will be responsible for paying the $100.00 survey fee before getting the UB violation dismissed.

  10. What is a Lis Pendens?

    A Lis Pendens or a Notice of Pendency notifies the public that there is a court proceeding pending against the premises. It is a document filed with the court in the New York State Supreme Court County Clerk's Office in the borough in which the premises is located at the same time the Department commences an Unsafe Buildings proceeding against the premises.

  11. What is a "Consent to Cancel Lis Pendens" and where do I go to get it?

    A "Consent to Cancel Lis Pendens" is a receipt issued by the Department's Unsafe Buildings Unit that you file with the County Clerk's Office in the borough in which the property is located to lift the Lis Pendens. In order to get the cancellation, you need to contact the UB Unit by phone or in person and request a "Consent to Cancel Lis Pendens receipt." You can also complete a survey fee / cancellation form and mail or fax it to our office. 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, whether you have had a re-inspection of the premises, whether the Unsafe Buildings violation has been dismissed and/or you owe any additional money to the City for work done on the premises pursuant to a Precept (Court Order). If you purchased the premises with unsafe buildings violations that have not been dismissed, you are still responsible for the resolution of the violations. If all monies have been paid and there are no outstanding issues, then the UB Unit will issue a "Consent to Cancel Lis Pendens."

  12. Where do I take the "Consent to Cancel Lis Pendens" after it is issued?

    You 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 request the Clerk to cancel the Lis Pendens.

    New York County Supreme Court- 60 Centre Street, Basement, New York, NY 10007
    Bronx County Supreme County - 851 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10451
    Kings County Supreme County - 360 Adams Street, Brooklyn, NY 11021
    Queens County Supreme County - 88-11 Sutphin Boulevard, Jamaica, NY 11435
    Richmond County Supreme County - 18 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, NY 10301

  13. I am not the owner nor do I have an interest in the premises but I've received a Notice of Survey and Summons. How do I get out of this court case?

    You should contact the UB Unit and be prepared to provide information indicating that you do not own or no longer have an interest in the premises. You should also write to the NYC Department of Finance located at 1 Centre Street, Room 500, New York, NY, 10007 or call them at (212) 361-7130 (City Register) to let them know that you do not own the premises or do not have an interest in the premises.

  14. What is a Precept?

    A Precept is a court order authorizing the City to perform work on your property to remove the UB condition.

  15. 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's Borough Commissioner for the borough in which the property is located and request him or her to put a hold on the execution of the Precept. You must be able to show the Borough Commissioner that you are either in the process of filing the appropriate applications for a permit to perform the necessary work on the property to correct the unsafe buildings condition or if the work does not require a building permit, that you are doing work on the property. The Borough Commissioner's Office will determine whether to place a hold if the City has not already performed the work under the Precept. For details regarding the Hold procedure, please refer to the Unsafe Buildings Information sheet.

  16. 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.

Other Related Links:
What is an Unsafe Building?
Unsafe Buildings Information
Other Department of Buildings FAQ A-L
Other Department of Buildings FAQ M-Z
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