Email a Friend
NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development
About HPD

Frequently Asked Questions

For Apartment Seekers and Homebuyers

                          > I need affordable housing. How can HPD help?
                                        > What are the requirements to apply for City-sponsored housing?
                                        > What is a community preference?
                                        > What is the lottery process?
                                        > No tengo calefacción ni agua caliente en mi apartamento. ¿Qué puedo hacer?
                                        > Do I have to write my social security number and bank account number in applications for housing lotteries?
                                        > Would my application for HPD-sponsored housing be considered if I have bad credit or a bankruptcy?
                                        > What happens after the lottery is completed?
                                        > How long does the interview process for purchasing a home take?
                                        > What does it mean if I don't receive a call requesting an interview?
                                        > What is the 80/20 Program?
                                        > How do I apply for an apartment created through the 80/20 program?
                                        > How can I purchase a City-sponsored home?
                                        > Who can purchase a home developed through one of HPD's programs?
                                        > How do I buy an HPD-owned building?
                                        > Where can I get homebuyer counseling?
                                        > Is there any down payment assistance?
                                        > Can I refinance a mortgage for a home purchased through the Partnership New Homes Homeownership Program or the Nehemiah Program?
                                        > I need help fixing up a house. How can HPD help?
                                        > How can I avoid taking a bad loan?
                                        > What are the danger signs of a predatory loan?
                                        > How can I avoid deed scams?
                                        > How can I avoid home repair contractor scams?
                                        > I have questions about the housing programs for municipal employees.


For Tenants

                                        > I have no heat or hot water in my apartment. What can I do?
                                        > My landlord refuses to make repairs to my apartment. What can I do?
                                        > Can my landlord enter my apartment at any time?
                                        > My landlord has changed the locks on my apartment. Is the landlord allowed to change my locks?
                                        > What can I do?
                                        > I received a notice from my landlord. What should I do?
                                        > What is a Notice to Cure? What should I do?
                                        > What is a Notice of Termination? What should I do?
                                        > I owe my Landlord rent and the landlord has demanded that I pay the rent. What should I do?
                                        > I received a Notice of Petition and Petition, what should I do?
                                        > If the Notice of Petition and Petition are in a Holdover Proceeding, what should I do?
                                        > If the Notice of Petition and Petition or "Dispossess" are in a Non-payment Proceeding, what should I do?
                                        > Am I guaranteed a renewal lease in my unregulated apartment?
                                        > I am a rent stabilized tenant - do I have the right to a lease renewal?
                                        > Can I share my apartment with a roommate?
                                        > My Landlord raised my rent. I think it is too high. What can I do?
                                        > Am I entitled to have my apartment painted?
                                        > What is the City's law about lead-based paint?
                                        > What are the rules about living in basements and cellars?
                                        > The landlord says that a carbon monoxide detecting device must be installed in my apartment and that I must pay for it.
                                        > Am I supposed to get my security deposit back?
                                        > What are my responsibilities as a tenant?
                                        > I see drugs being sold in my building. What can I do?
                                        > What should I do if my building owner is harassing me?
                                        > Can a building owner discriminate against me?
                                        > Can I have pets in my apartment?


For Residential Owners

                                        > What programs does HPD offer to help me repair my house or apartment building?
                                        > How often must owners register their buildings with HPD?
                                        > How do I correct violations and clear my record?
                                        > How do I pay Emergency Repair Program (ERP) charges?
                                        > How do I obtain a copy of the housing maintenance code?
                                        > Why are old violations on the site?
                                        > I see drugs being sold in my building. What can I do?
                                        > I am an apartment building owner with difficult tenants. What can I do?
                                        > How do I buy an HPD-owned building?
                                        > What do I need to know about the City's Carbon Monoxide Law?
                                        > How can I tell if I own a Single Room Occupancy (SRO) building and what regulations apply?
                                        > How can I avoid taking a bad loan?
                                        > What are the danger signs of a predatory loan?
                                        > How can I avoid deed scams?
                                        > How can I avoid home repair contractor scams?
                                        > Can I refinance a mortgage for a home purchased through the Partnership New Homes Homeownership Program or the Nehemiah Program?
                                        > What is an I-card and how can I obtain one?
                                        > What must building owners provide to the Red Cross in the event of a building-wide emergency such as a fire or vacate order?


For Developers

                                      > How do I buy an HPD-owned Building?
                                      > What is the 80/20 Program?


For Vendors

                                      > How do I register as a prospective bidder or proposer?
                                      > What is the difference between a bid and proposal?
                                      > What if my bid or proposal is late?
                                      > Is there a charge for bid or proposal documents?
                                      > Can I obtain bid or proposal documents on-line?
                                      > When is bid security required for a bid?
                                      > My firm responded to an RFP a few months ago but we have not yet been notified if we have been selected. What does this mean?
                                      > Who selects the winning proposal?
                                      > My firm proposed on an RFP where our price was very competitive, yet we were not selected. How can that be?
                                      > My firm's proposal was not selected as a winner. Can we meet to review how we were evaluated? Can we review the proposal of the winning firm?
                                      > How long does it take for a contract to be awarded?
                                      > Why so long?
                                      > Our proposal was selected for award / We were selected as the winning proposers. When can we start working??
                                      > What kind of insurance do I need to maintain?
                                      > I'm a small contractor, do I need to go through the formal bidding process to do work with HPD?
                                      > Once my firm is Pre-qualified, do we have to provide any other information to HPD?
                                      > I have heard about a contracting opportunity at HPD but have not seen it advertised. Why is that?
                                      > I am registered with the Citywide Bidders List but haven't received any solicitations?
                                      > What is VENDEX and how can I obtain the forms?
                                      > What is the Procurement Policy Board and how can I obtain the current Rules?
                                      > What is backup withholding?


More FAQs

                                      > What is the best way for architects to get involved in the New Housing Marketplace plan?
                                      > What is the procedure for requesting motion picture / television film permits?
                                      > How can I get a job at HPD?
                                      > How can I work as a volunteer with HPD?
                                  > How do I contact HPD for more information?
                      > How can I give feedback about the HPD website?
                      > How do I review or obtain copies of HPD documents?



For Apartment Seekers and Homebuyers

I need affordable housing. How can HPD help?
Information about affordable rental apartments rehabilitated through HPD programs is available by calling the Affordable Housing Hotline at 311 (311 can be accessed outside of New York City by dialing (212) NEW YORK). Information about affordable homeownership options is also available on this website at our homeownership page and by calling 311 to request a homeownership kit. The City itself does not sell homes, but works with real estate professionals and community sponsors to market homes. You will see phone numbers listed for our partners at our homeownership page, and you will need to contact them directly to receive an application that is specific to each development. The HPD website also offers general information about buying a home in New York City.

[back to top]

What are the requirements to apply for City-sponsored housing?
Requirements vary by program. Some City-sponsored homeownership programs are limited to households that fall within certain income levels. Some require the purchaser to be a first-time homebuyer, defined as someone who has never owned a small home (one- or two-family home), co-op or condo for use as a primary residence. Applicants should also be credit worthy and able to qualify for a mortgage. Please see the descriptions of HPD's programs for homebuyers as well as the lists of homes that are currently available. There is a community preference for all City-sponsored homes.

[back to top]

What is a community preference?
HPD gives preference for either the sale or rental of 50% of all homes, co-ops, condominiums and rental apartments it creates or rehabilitates to current residents of the community board district where the homes are located. All applicants must meet the individual program requirements to be eligible and be selected by lottery. The community preference was established to provide greater housing opportunities for long-time residents of New York City neighborhoods where HPD has made a significant investment in housing. Preference is also given to active duty uniformed NYC police officers, municipal employees, people who are mobility impaired, and people who are vision impaired.

[back to top]

What is the lottery process?
Apartments that are subsidized by HPD, by the New York State Housing Finance Agency, and by the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) are advertised in local newspapers. Listings of available apartments may also be found at these web sites: www.nyc.gov/housing, and www.dhcr.state.ny.us. Additionally, HPD has an Affordable Housing Hotline that describes available apartments and provides information on obtaining an application. For further information, please call 311 (311 can be accessed outside of New York City by dialing (212) NEW YORK).

To participate in a lottery, you must complete an application form and mail it to the developer within the specified application period. The newspaper advertisement should provide you with information on (1) income guidelines, (2) who to contact, (3) where to mail your request for an application, and (4) where to mail your completed application. Deadlines for applications will also be noted in the advertisement.

One week after the application deadline, the applications are retrieved and then randomly selected. Based on the relevant information from the application, a list of qualified applicants will be created. The number of names on the list will be at least 20 times the number of apartments available. Interviews with applicants will be scheduled after the drawing. All applicants must meet the individual program requirements to be eligible and receive the community preference. No application fee or broker fee is required. If an applicant passes the interview, the developer may require a fee to conduct a credit check on the applicant.

[back to top]

Do I have to write my social security number and bank account number in applications for housing lotteries?
No, you do not have to include your social security number and bank account number in applications. If you are selected in the lottery, you will be called for an interview. If you are eligible for the apartment, the developer may then request your social security number and bank account number to do a credit check or to verify your income.

[back to top]

Would my application for HPD-sponsored housing be considered if I have bad credit or a bankruptcy?
A private developer has a right to refuse an applicant on the grounds of bad credit or a bankruptcy, according to HPD's marketing guidelines.

[back to top]

What happens after the lottery is completed?
After the drawing, the developer schedules interviews (in numerical order of the log sheet) with prospective homeowners. To make the process more efficient, HPD strongly recommends that the developer interview applicants who meet the various preference requirements (resident of Community Board district where development is located, active duty uniformed NYC police officers, municpal employees, mobility impaired, vision impaired) prior to interviewing other applicants.

All applicants must meet the individual program requirements to be eligible and receive the community preference. No application fee or broker fee is required. If an applicant passes the interview, the developer may require a fee to conduct a credit check on the applicant.

[back to top]

How long does the interview process for renting a City-sponsored apartment or purchasing a City-sponsored home take?
Generally, the interview process is completed within one month after the application deadline. Due to the large volume of applications submitted for each development, only applicants selected for an interview will be called regarding the status of their application.

[back to top]

What does it mean if I don't receive a call requesting an interview?
Applicants will not receive a call for an interview if 1) their application was not drawn before the developer reached the amount that corresponds to 20 times the number of homes/apartments available for sale or rent; 2) they did not meet the eligibility requirements for the program through which the home/apartment was developed, or 3) their application was received after the deadline.

[back to top]

What is the 80/20 Program?
The 80/20 Program, sponsored by the New York State Housing Finance Agency, the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), uses tax-exempt bonds to create affordable housing for low-income tenants in generally desirable locations throughout the city. The use of tax-exempt bonds to finance the construction of large residential buildings in the city greatly reduces costs. In exchange for the low-cost financing, 20% of the apartment units are reserved for low-income tenants earning no more than 50% of area median income. See Low Income Housing Tax Credit Rent and Income Limits

The apartments are not necessarily labeled "80/20" in advertisements, but would say "affordable housing."

[back to top]

How do I apply for an apartment created through the 80/20 program?
Apartments created through the 80/20 Program and sponsored by the New York State Housing Finance Agency are advertised in the real estate section of local newspapers and on the web site of the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) at www.dhcr.state.ny.us. HDC- and HPD-sponsored 80/20 apartments are also advertised in local newspapers and on the agencies' respective web pages: www.nyc.gov/housing. Additionally, HPD has an Affordable Housing Hotline that describes available apartments and provides information on obtaining an application. Please call 311 for further information (311 can be accessed outside of New York City by dialing (212) NEW YORK).

[back to top]

How can I purchase a City-sponsored home?
HPD has developed several programs that enable New York's families to purchase new homes constructed on vacant City-owned properties or newly-renovated City-owned homes. City subsidies and other financing tools are used to make these homes affordable to low-, moderate-, and middle-income families. Applications are available from the developer or the marketing agent hired by the developer to market the homes. The contact information for any developer that is currently accepting applications is available at HPD's web site, nyc.gov/hpd. Developers of City-sponsored homes and apartments are required by HPD to advertise in a New York City metro daily paper, a community newspaper where the homes/apartments are located, and an ethnic newspaper. HPD does not provide applications for homes sold through City-sponsored programs. Purchasers for the homes are selected through a lottery supervised by HPD.

Many people have expressed interest in buying a dilapidated building and fixing it up themselves. HPD does not sell buildings in dilapidated condition to the general public. Occasionally, we sell a building at market value when we have buildings in better physical shape. Current tenants in good standing are given the first opportunity to purchase their building. If the tenants are not interested or not able to purchase, the building is offered to the general public through a Request for Offers process as part of the Asset Sales program. Those interested should call (212) 863-7337.

[back to top]

Who can purchase a home developed through one of HPD's programs?
Requirements vary. Some City-sponsored homeownership programs are limited to households that fall within certain income levels. Some require the purchaser to be a first-time homebuyer, defined as someone who has never owned a small home (one- or two-family home), co-op or condo for use as a primary residence. Applicants should also be credit worthy and able to qualify for a mortgage. There is a community preference for all City-sponsored homes.

[back to top]

How do I buy an HPD-owned Building?
Many people have expressed interest in buying a dilapidated building and fixing it up themselves. HPD does not sell buildings in dilapidated condition to the general public. Occasionally, HPD sells buildings at market value without City subsidy through the Asset Sales program when they are in better physical shape. Current tenants in good standing are given the first opportunity to purchase their building. If the tenants are not interested or not able to purchase, the building is offered to the general public through a Request for Offers Process. Those interested may call (212) 863-7630.

Information on plans for specific HPD-owned buildings may be obtained by calling 212-863-8961.

The Department of Citywide Administrative Services' (DCAS) Division of Real Estate holds auctions of vacant land and commercial buildings. Please call 311 for further information (311 can be accessed outside of New York City by dialing (212) NEW YORK).

[back to top]

Where can I get homebuyer counseling?
Click here for a list of HPD-approved counseling agencies

[back to top]

Is there any down payment assistance?
Many New Yorkers want to buy a home but don't have enough money saved for their down payment and closing costs. As part of Mayor Bloomberg's "New Housing Marketplace Plan," the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) created the HomeFirst Down Payment Assistance program. It provides qualified homebuyers with up to 6% of the home's purchase price as a forgivable loan to use toward the down payment or closing costs on a new 1-4 family home, a condominium, or a cooperative in one of HPD's Homeownership Zones in one of the five boroughs of New York City. This means that if the home costs $400,000, the eligible buyer would get $24,000.

[back to top]

Can I refinance a mortgage for a home purchased through the Partnership New Homes Homeownership Program or the Nehemiah Program?
Yes. HPD will refinance and subordinate to a new first mortgage if:

  1. A homeowner sells or refinances his/her home up to the subsidized purchase price of the home and
  2. HPD remains in second position behind your first mortgage.

Click here for information about the Mortgage Services Request Procedure.

[back to top]

I need help fixing up a house. How can HPD help?
HPD could make the work more affordable. If you own a vacant or deteriorated residential building or a mixed-use building with vacant residential units, the Small Buildings Loan Program, the New Partners Program, and the 421b tax incentive program could help you to finance the rehabilitation work. For smaller repairs or system upgrades, you may be eligible for the Home Improvement Program or the Senior Citizens Home Assistance Program. Owner-occupied 3 to 4 family homes and mixed-use buildings may also be eligible for system upgrade assistance under HPD's Article 8A program and for lead-paint treatment assistance under the Primary Prevention Program. Tax abatements and exemptions after the completion work may be available under the J-51 program. HPD's Owner Services Program is a source of referral information.

[back to top]

How can I avoid taking a bad loan?
You want to get the best possible loan; but there are lenders out there who want sell you a dishonest or predatory loan. Predatory loans harm borrowers by making it difficult or impossible to keep up with payments. Borrowers may pay unnecessary fees and excessive interest charges. Predatory lenders prey on people who are unfamiliar with the banking system. They target seniors, minorities, or anyone whose credit makes it hard to get a regular bank loan. Predatory loans take advantage of borrowers with a variety of abusive practices and:

  • Target people of color, elderly and disabled people for high-cost loans;
  • Charge excessive interest rates and higher fees;
  • Keep secret the true costs and terms of the loan;
  • Approve a loan without considering a person's ability to repay;
  • Convince borrowers to refinance frequently (or "flip") the loan;
  • Carry terms that make it difficult for the borrower to refinance later.

[back to top]

What are the danger signs of a predatory loan?

  • High bank fees (call competitors and comparison shop)
  • Balloon payment (a lump sum due at the end of the term of the loan);
  • A loan is based on your home equity rather than your income;
  • Credit life insurance added to the loan

Don't gamble with your biggest asset. Call 311 and get good advice.

[back to top]

How can I avoid deed scams?
Homeowners facing foreclosure do have options, and must be careful to avoid foreclosure scams. So called "bailout specialists" tell you that, for a fee, you can deed your home to the bailout specialist and then rent it back. The bailout specialist takes the money, does not arrange for the short sale, and does not make any payments on the mortgage. The end result is that your home loan payments are not made and the mortgage goes into foreclosure, without you being aware of any fraud. Before you sign anything, call 311 and learn the facts and your options.

[back to top]

How can I avoid home repair contractor scams?
Many homeowners - especially seniors- are targeted by scam artists who use high pressure tactics to sell unneeded and overpriced contracts for "home improvements." Often these scam artists charge more than their quoted prices or their work does not live up to their promises. When the homeowner refuses to pay for shoddy or incomplete work, the contractor or an affiliated lender threatens foreclosure on the home. Home improvement contractors use several methods of targeting owners: high pressure phone calls, flyers, advertisements, and door-to-door sales. Unscrupulous contractors often employ one or more of the following sales tactics:

  • "bait and switch" - offering low prices for installed items like windows and home siding, and then telling the owner the item is out of stock and can only be replaced with a high-priced substitute;
  • misrepresenting the urgency of a needed repair
  • claiming the item is more expensive than advertised because it has to be "custom made" to fit the consumer's home;
  • misrepresenting that the consumer is receiving a discount because the home is selected to model the repair when, in reality, the consumer is paying market price or more;
  • misrepresenting the energy savings, health benefits, and value added to the home;
  • misrepresenting the terms on which financing is likely to be arranged.

Unscrupulous contractors often use deceptive tactics to hide the true cost of paying for the work. These tactics may include:

  • using more than one contract for a single repair in an attempt to confuse the home owner;
  • claiming that there is a "cash" contract that doesn't contain financing terms although the deal is intended to be financed;
  • adding extra hidden charges above the negotiated price;
  • providing expensive (high rate) financing or arranging with a third party to finance the work;
  • obtaining hidden kickbacks from lenders or loan brokers for referrals

Once the contractor has the downpayment in hand, or if you give the contractor full payment up-front, they may disappear. To guard against this, call the Better Business Bureau beforehand to see if they have registered any complaints on the contractor, and check with Consumer Affairs about whether the contractor is licensed. Also, pay in installments, when the work is completed to your satisfaction.

Don't be scammed. If you are unsure about the deal offered by a home repair contractor, call 311.


For Tenants

I have no heat or hot water in my apartment. What can I do?
By law, residential owners must provide adequate heat between October 1 and May 31. During this period, between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., if the outside temperature is below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, owners must heat apartments to at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., if the outside temperature is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, owners must heat apartments to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Owners must also provide hot water at a minimum constant temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit all year round.

Tenants whose building owners fail to provide adequate heat or hot water should first speak with the owner or building manager about the problem. If an owner does not restore heat and hot water, tenants should then call the City's Citizen Service Center at 311, open 24 hours per day, seven days per week, to lodge a complaint (311 can be accessed outside of New York City by dialing (212) NEW YORK).

My landlord refuses to make repairs to my apartment. What can I do?
If you are a tenant in a privately-owned building, there are several things you can do to get their landlord to make repairs; however, you may want to take the following steps in order to establish a record:

  1. Contact the building superintendent regarding the repairs.
  2. If the superintendent or management company does not respond, write a letter to the owner of the building that describes the problems in your apartment and asks for the repairs to be made by a certain date. You should send the letter to the owner and management company by certified mail and keep a copy for your records.
  3. If you do not receive a response to the letter, you should try to contact the owner in person or by phone. Let him or her know that if the repairs are not completed, that the tenant will have to file a complaint. Keep a record of all of your attempts to get the landlord to make repairs, as this will be useful in court.

If the owner still does not respond or fails to provide essential services, you may report the condition to the City's Citizen Service Center at 311 (311 may be accessed outside New York City by dialing (212) NEW YORK). For the hearing impaired, the TTY number is (212) 504-4115. The Center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

You can also bring a case against the landlord in Housing Court to get an order to correct the conditions. This case is called an HP Action. HP actions are lawsuits brought by tenants or groups of tenants against landlords to force them to make repairs and provide essential services, like heat and hot water. A landlord's failure to make a repair or provide an important service may be a violation of the New York City Housing Maintenance Code or the Multiple Dwelling Law. In an HP action, a judge can order the landlord to correct the violations. If you want to start an HP proceeding against your landlord, go to the Clerk's Office at the Housing Court. You do not need a lawyer to start an HP case.

Tenants living in an HPD-owned building who have complaints about the maintenance of their apartment should call 212-491-4229 or 311.

Tenants in rent controlled or rent stabilized apartments may contact the State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) Office of Rent Administration. Call 311 for information. DHCR may impose penalties on building owners in the form of rent reductions if a tenant's problems are valid.

Tenants with maintenance complaints about apartments in New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) buildings should go to their management office and fill out a work ticket.

[back to top]

Can my landlord enter my apartment at any time?
Generally no. However, a landlord may enter a tenant's apartment in some situations. For example, generally, the landlord can enter your apartment:

  1. At a reasonable time after providing reasonable notice if the entry is either
    • To provide necessary or agreed upon repairs or services, or
    • In accordance with the lease, or
    • To show the apartment to prospective tenants or purchasers;
  2. In an emergency, at any time and without notice

[back to top]

My landlord has changed the locks on my apartment. Is the landlord allowed to change my locks?
Changing the locks on an resident's apartment without giving the resident a key would be a violation of the Unlawful Eviction Law (NYC Administrative Code §26-521) if:

  1. The resident is:
    • A tenant or subtenant with a lease,
    • An occupant who has lawfully lived in the apartment for more than thirty days (with or without the lease),
    • A subtenant, roommate or relative who has lived in the apartment for at least thirty days (even if the person is not on the lease and has not made any direct payments to the landlord),
    • A resident of a rent stabilized hotel room who has made a request for a lease;
  2. The landlord does not have a warrant of eviction.

[back to top]

What can I do?
You can go to the nearest police station and report that you have been illegally locked out. You can also go to the Housing Court and start an "illegal lock out case" (Real Property Actions Proceedings Law §853). Before going to the court, you should contact Legal Aid or Legal Services to see if you qualify for free legal representation. If you are not eligible, you may want to contact a private attorney to assist you in starting the case. Even if you do not have an attorney, you can still go to Housing Court and speak to the Clerk about starting an illegal lock out case proceeding. When you go to Court, you should bring any papers or other items that you have which show that you are a resident of your apartment/building.

If you believe or suspect that you will be locked out of your apartment, you should be prepared with the necessary documentation to establish that you are the lawful occupant of the apartment. Therefore, you may want to leave copies of whatever papers you have which establish your occupancy with a friend or relative who does not live in the apartment. You also should take the documents with you whenever you leave your apartment so that you can establish to the Police Department and/or the Court that you are the lawful occupant. Documents that will be useful include, but are not limited to:

  1. A lease,
  2. Rent receipts,
  3. Utility bills or other bills directed to you with respect to your apartment (telephone, cable, etc.),
  4. Mail addressed to you or documents issued to you at your apartment (letters, voter registration card, driver's license, etc.),
  5. Any documentation of previous harassment by or conflict with the landlord.

[back to top]

I received a notice from my landlord. What should I do?
It depends on what kind of notice you received.

[back to top]

What is a Notice to Cure? What should I do?
The Notice to Cure generally provides you with notice that the landlord considers certain actions to be in violation of your obligations as a tenant. If the Notice correctly describes conditions in violation of your obligations and you can fix them within the time provided, cure the condition. If not, try to get some advice from an attorney or a tenant advocacy group about your rights. The Notice to Cure is not an eviction case or a court paper.

[back to top]

What is a Notice of Termination? What should I do?
If you received a Notice of Termination or Notice to Quit, it is also not a court document. These notices notify the tenant that the tenancy is terminated and that, if the tenant does not give up the apartment and move out, the landlord will go to court to seek the tenant's eviction. The length of the notice depends upon the nature of your tenancy (rent stabilized, rent controlled, unregulated, weekly or monthly) and/or the terms of your lease. At the end of the period, if you have not moved, the landlord may not simply put you out of your apartment. The landlord must start an eviction proceeding and obtain a warrant of eviction from the Court before you can be evicted.

Thus, if you receive a Notice of Termination and do not move out of your apartment by the end of the notice period, you should receive a Notice of Petition and Petition seeking an order evicting you from your apartment (Holdover Proceeding). DO NOT IGNORE THESE PAPERS. As soon as you receive those papers, consult with an attorney or go to Housing Court on the date that the Notice of Petition advises you to appear.

[back to top]

I owe my Landlord rent and the landlord has demanded that I pay the rent. What should I do?
This depends on whether or not you have a lease and upon your reasons for not paying. Remember that the landlord must go to court and get permission to evict you. You cannot be evicted without the court's permission. The demand for rent is not a court paper and is not an eviction case. Generally, the landlord must make a demand for rent before going to court. If you do not pay the rent, you should receive a Notice of Petition and Petition seeking an order evicting you from your apartment for non-payment of rent (Nonpayment Proceeding).

If you are not withholding rent to get repairs, you should pay the rent in order to avoid being sued. If you do not have the money, you may want to visit a New York City Human Resources Administration Job Center to see if you are eligible for emergency assistance. To find the location of the appropriate Job Center, where you may make an application for emergency assistance, you can call the HRA information line (877) 472-8411.

If you are withholding rent because your apartment needs repairs, make sure that you save the money for the rent and keep it in a safe place, such as a bank account. However, it is not advisable to withhold rent to get repairs unless you have legal assistance.

[back to top]

I received a Notice of Petition and Petition, what should I do?
Do not ignore it. A Notice of Petition and Petition are court papers for an eviction case. If you do not respond to the papers, you can be evicted from your apartment.

[back to top]

If the Notice of Petition and Petition are in a Holdover Proceeding, what should I do?
You must go to court on the date stated in the Notice of Petition. This will be your first court date. It is extremely important that you go to court on that date because if you miss it, the landlord may be able to get a default judgment of eviction.

At the court, you may answer orally or in writing. Most tenants without lawyers should answer orally to the Clerk of the Court. The defenses to a holdover case are very complicated and you should be sure to talk to the Resource Center in the Housing Court before answering. Security guards in the courthouse will know where the center is located. At the Resource Center, you can speak with an attorney who can provide advice about filing an answer and proceeding with the case. When you answer, a court date should be assigned.

[back to top]

If the Notice of Petition and Petition or "Dispossess" are in a Nonpayment Proceeding, what should I do?
You must go to the Housing Court and "answer" within five days of receiving the Notice of Petition. An answer is a list of reasons why you believe that the landlord should not win the eviction case. At the Court, you will have to submit an answer, either orally or in writing. The Court Clerk will help you and prepare the answer for you. You should bring the Notice of Petition and Petition with you to the court.

You should be familiar with appropriate legal defenses and counterclaims before going to court. Your answer should include all defenses and counterclaims that may apply to the case. Before going to the courtroom, you should stop by the Resource Center located in the Housing Court. Security guards in the courthouse will know where the center is located. At the Resource Center, you can speak with an attorney who can provide advice about filing your answer and proceeding with your case.

Although tenants may answer orally or in writing, it is highly recommended that an unrepresented tenant answer orally. To answer orally, you should speak with a clerk at the counter who will ask you questions and fill out a form based on the answers. You will be given a copy of the form once it is completed. You should read the form to see if the answers are correct. If not, you should tell the clerk and ask the clerk to change the form. You should bring a copy of the answer and all other relevant documents with you on the hearing date.

If you do not go to Court to answer or if you do not appear in Court on the date that your case is scheduled, the landlord may obtain a default judgment of eviction against you and you may be evicted from your home.

[back to top]

Am I guaranteed a renewal lease in my unregulated apartment?
Except for rent regulated apartments, a tenant may only renew the lease with the consent of the landlord. A lease may contain an automatic renewal clause. In such case, the landlord must give the tenant advance notice of the existence of this clause between 15 and 30 days before the tenant is required to notify the landlord of an intention not to renew the lease. (General Obligations Law §5-905)

Tenants who do not have leases and pay The Department of Housing and Buildings was an agency of the City of New York responsible for building inspections and maintaining occupancy records. The agency maintained historical occupancy records called Initial Inspection cards (more commonly referred to as "I-cards”) which captured occupancy and arrangement information based on the initial inspection of the property by the agency and any subsequent applications filed with that agency during the late 1800s and early 1900s. For buildings without a Certificate of Occupancy (which was not required until 1938), the " I-cards” have been accepted as the legal record of existing occupancy as of the last date indicated on the card. The majority of the HPD I-cards are accessible by entering the building information on the home page of HPD’s website.  After entering the building information, an option to obtain I-card Images will appear on the left hand side tool bar.  Buildings with I-cards may have more recent legal occupancy records if any lawful alteration or conversion work was performed in the building after the last date on the I-card. For information on alterations or conversions conducted since the last date on the I-card, Department of Buildings records should be consulted, since a Certificate of Occupancy may have been issued or additional plans may have been approved. Pursuant to the New York City Charter, if there is both an I-card and a Certificate of Occupancy for a building, the Certificate of Occupancy controls as to all matters set forth therein. 

 

rent on a monthly basis are called month-to-month tenants. In localities without rent regulation, tenants who stay past the end of a lease are treated as month-to-month tenants if the landlord accepts their rent. (Real Property Law §232-c) A landlord may raise the rent of a month-to-month tenant with the consent of the tenant. However, if the tenant does not consent, the landlord can terminate the tenancy by giving appropriate notice (Real Property Law §232-b)

In New York City, the landlord must serve the tenant with a written termination giving 30 days notice before the expiration of the term. The notice must state that the landlord elects to terminate the tenancy and that refusal to vacate will lead to eviction proceedings (Real Property Law §232-a).

[back to top]

I am a rent stabilized tenant - do I have the right to a lease renewal?
Although there are some exceptions, tenants in rent stabilized apartments have a basic right under state law to select a lease renewal for a one or two year term. The landlord must give written notice to the tenant of the right to renewal no more than 150 days and not less than 90 days prior to the end of the lease.

If you have a valid lease and have paid your rent on time, a landlord cannot evict you. According to state law, a tenant who is put out of his/her apartment in a forcible or unlawful manner is entitled to recover triple damages in a legal action against the wrongdoer. Landlords in New York City who use illegal methods to force a tenant to move are also subject to both criminal and civil penalties. Further, the tenant is entitled to be restored to occupancy. (RPAPL §713, ó853).

[back to top]

Can I share my apartment with a roommate?
Generally yes. If you rented the apartment by yourself, you may allow your immediate family and one additional person and their dependent children to move in. However, there are laws to prevent overcrowding in apartments, and the landlord may limit the total number of people you may move in to the apartment. If you want to share your apartment, you should continue to live in the apartment unless you intend to sublet the apartment with the owner's permission.

You must tell your landlord the name of any new tenants in your apartment within 30 days from the time that the person moves in, or within 30 days after a request by the landlord. (Real Property Law §235(f)).

[back to top]

My landlord raised my rent. I think it is too high. What can I do?
If your apartment is subject to rent control or rent stabilization, the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) and the Rent Guidelines Board determine the amount that your landlord may increase your rent. If you don't know the status of your apartment, you can call DHCR at (718) 739-6400. DHCR can also answer any questions about whether the amount of the increase is too high.

If your apartment is not regulated, DHCR does not regulate your rent. If you have a lease, the legal rent is what it states in the lease and can be raised only as permitted by the lease or at the expiration of the lease. If you do not have a lease, the landlord may raise your rent to whatever amount the landlord wishes, as long as the landlord tells you a month before the rent increase. If you do not pay the increase, the landlord may evict you if you received legally adequate notice of the increase.

If you live in public or subsidized housing, increases in the amount of rent you pay are subject to the regulations for that housing and are usually related to your family's income.

[back to top]

Am I entitled to have my apartment painted?
Yes, the landlord must paint occupied apartments in multiple dwellings (buildings with three or more apartments) every three years. (NYC Administrative Code §27-2013).

[back to top]

What is the City's law about lead-based paint?
The City's lead law requires owners of multiple dwellings to repair all peeling, cracking, scaling, flaking, blistering, chipping, or lose in any manner paint. The law further requires owners of such buildings to inquire whether children under the age of seven reside in the building and to visually inspect their apartments for lead hazards once a year. Lead-based paint violations must be repaired using safe work practices, within the timeframes specified by law and HPD rules.

To report peeling paint or other potential lead violations, tenants may contact the City's Citizen Service Center, open 24 hours per day, seven days per week, at 311.

[back to top]

What are the rules about living in basements and cellars?
Basements and cellars are very different. A basement is a story partly below curb level but having at least one-half of its height above the curb level. A cellar is an enclosed space having more than one-half of its height below curb level.

Basements and cellars of multiple dwellings may not be occupied unless the conditions meet the minimum requirements for light, air, sanitation and egress, and have received approval by the New York City Department of Buildings.

Cellars in private dwellings can NEVER be lawfully rented or occupied. (A secondary kitchen for accessory cooking may be located in the cellar so long as approval from the Department of Buildings is obtained prior to the installation of such kitchen.) Basements in private dwellings can NEVER be lawfully rented or occupied unless the conditions meet the minimum requirements for light, air, sanitation and egress, and have received approval by the Department of Buildings. (Since the rental of a basement in a two-family dwelling would result in a conversion from a private dwelling to a multiple dwelling, basements of two-family dwellings may not be rented unless the entire building is in compliance with the New York State Multiple Dwelling Law.)

Owners with illegally converted basements and cellars may face civil and criminal penalties. Occupants of illegal basement and cellar apartments face potential dangers such as carbon monoxide poisoning, inadequate light and ventilation and inadequate egress in the event of a fire. Occupants of illegal basement and cellar apartments may be ordered by the City to vacate or leave any illegal basement or cellar apartment.

For more information and/or complaints concerning illegal basement or cellar apartments call the City's Citizen Service Center at 311. Complaints will be directed to the New York City Department of Buildings.

[back to top]

The landlord says that a carbon monoxide detecting device must be installed in my apartment and that I must pay for it.
The owner must install a carbon monoxide detecting device in your apartment. It is your obligation to maintain that device and to replace it if it is missing or inoperable. The owner can require you to pay $25 to reimburse the cost of that installation. Some limited exceptions apply.

[back to top]

Am I supposed to get my security deposit back?
Yes, at the end of your tenancy, you are entitled to get your security deposit back with interest. Before returning your deposit the landlord may check your apartment to determine if you caused any damage. If you did not cause damage to the apartment, the landlord should return the full amount of your deposit with interest. If you did cause damage, the landlord is permitted to deduct the cost of repairing that damage before returning the balance of your security deposit to you.

[back to top]

What are my responsibilities as a tenant?
Tenants must comply with the provisions of the law and are responsible for violations caused by willful acts, gross negligence, and abuse. These as well as unreasonable refusal to allow access to the apartment by the owner or his or her agent or employee for the purpose of making repairs or improvements required by the Housing Maintenance Code and Multiple Dwelling Law may constitute grounds for eviction proceedings. Visit the following links to read the sections of the Housing Maintenance Code on "Duties of tenants" and "Tenant violations as grounds for eviction"

[back to top]

I see drugs being sold in my building. What can I do?
Tenants in HPD-owned buildings are encouraged to immediately report all drug activity to HPD's Narcotics Control Unit at (212) 863-7284. To secure buildings from drug dealers and vandals, tenants should ask the building manager or area office to report broken locks or intercoms.

Tenants in privately-owned buildings should notify their building owners and the police of illegal activity in their building. Owners have an obligation to alert the police to any illegal activity in their building.

[back to top]

What should I do if my building owner is harassing me?
Building owners are prohibited by law from harassing tenants to force them out of their apartments. Examples of harassment include verbal or physical abuse, consistent withholding of services, or persistent physical or mental intimidation.

Tenants in rent regulated apartments who believe they are being harassed by their building owner may contact the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) Office of Rent Administration. Call 311 or visit DHCR's web site at www.dhcr.state.ny.us.

Tenants who live in buildings that are not rent regulated who believe they are being harassed may have grounds to initiate legal action in Housing Court against their building owners. Tenants may want to consult with and secure the services of an attorney before initiating any lawsuit. Tenants who cannot afford legal representation may be eligible for free or inexpensive assistance from the Legal Aid Society, which may be reached at (212) 577-3300. Tenants may also seek legal assistance from HPD's Fair Housing Counselors who offer advice and Housing Court Mediation services. Assistance is also available at information tables set up in Housing Court.

Can a building owner discriminate against me?
By law, owners may not deny prospective tenants housing because of race, color, religion, nationality, gender, sexual preference, age, marital status, disability, immigrant status, or legal occupation. Furthermore, tenants may not be denied housing because their children are or will be residing with them.

Tenants who believe they have experienced housing discrimination may file complaints within one year of the incident by calling the New York City Commission on Human Rights at 311.

[back to top]

Can I have pets in my apartment?
Unless the pet can be considered a "service animal" used by blind, deaf or disabled people, whether pets are permitted is at the discretion of the building owner and is usually stipulated in the lease. If a tenant keeps a pet in the apartment without the building owner's permission, it may be considered a serious violation of the lease and may be a basis for terminating tenancy. In addition, many animals cannot be kept legally as pets in the City of New York. For more information on pet regulations, call the Health Department's Dog License Department at 311.


For Residential Owners

What programs does HPD offer to help me repair my house or apartment building?
To qualified homeowners, HPD offers low interest rehabilitation loans in neighborhoods throughout the city. The agency also works with Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) to offer various loans below market rate. For more information about these loan programs, call (212) 863-5300, or see our section on loan programs for building owners.

Owners of apartment buildings requiring systems repairs such as new plumbing or electrical systems may find assistance through HPD loan programs such as the Article 8A Loan Program. Owners of apartment buildings requiring more extensive rehabilitation may seek financial help from the Participation Loan Program (PLP). Homeowners should consider the Small Buildings Loan Program.

HPD's Tax Incentives Programs provide temporary tax relief for owners who build new housing or renovate their property.

Once a month, HPD staff travel to a different borough to host Owners' Night: An Evening Dedicated to Helping New York City's Property Owners. Learn about the availability of low-interest loans, free educational courses and free owner counseling.

If you would like to receive e-mails from HPD with information for residential building owners, including details about upcoming Owners' Nights, visit the NYC HPD E-mail Update Subscription Center.

[back to top]

How often must owners register their buildings with HPD?
The Housing Maintenance Code requires owners of multiple dwellings to register their buildings with HPD annually. "Multiple dwellings" are defined as buildings with three or more dwelling units. One- and two-family dwellings need not be registered unless the owner lives outside of the City. In such cases, the building must be managed by a New York City agent and registered with HPD's Registration Assistance Unit. Buildings containing six or more dwelling units must be registered by April 1 of each year, and buildings containing five or fewer dwelling units must be registered by October 1 of each year. HPD may sue owners who fail to register their buildings according to the law. Information and downloadable registration forms are available from the Registration Assistance Unit which may be reached by calling 311 (311 can be accessed outside of New York City by dialing (212) NEW YORK).

In addition to registering with HPD, owners of buildings that contain rent regulated apartments are also required to register individual rent regulated apartments annually with the State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR). For more information, call 311 (311 can be accessed outside of New York City by dialing (212) NEW YORK).

[back to top]

How do I correct violations and clear my record?
Building owners may clear their records of violations by certifying that the violations were corrected within the required time period. After that time period has passed, building owners may file a Dismissal Request form with their Borough Code Enforcement Office. Building owners can also get technical advice from Code Inspectors in HPD's Borough Code Enforcement offices or from HPD’s Neighborhood Preservation Offices about how to correct violations in their buildings or enter into Voluntary Repair Agreements. Owners and other interested parties can obtain print-outs of violations for a nominal cost by going to one of the Borough Code Enforcement offices.

How do I pay Emergency Repair Program (ERP) charges?
Call (212) 863-6020 to inquire about or request a copy of the invoice that supports an ERP bill, or to make an inquiry regarding payments or account balances. All new charges are being billed by the Department of Finance and must be paid at the Department of Finance. This can be done by mail, with the appropriate stub from the bill included, or at any of the five borough City Collectors Offices. In addition, please note that the telephone number listed above is an automated line with varying selections. As the message will not repeat itself, please pay careful attention to the selections given.

[back to top]

How do I obtain a copy of the housing maintenance code?
To purchase your copy of the New York City Housing Maintenance Code and the New York State Multiple Dwelling Laws contact The City Store (call 311 for information). To see the New York City Housing Maintenance Code online click here.

[back to top]

Why are old violations on the site?
You may see violations dating back as far as 1960 on the site. It is very likely that the conditions may no longer exist, but they will remain on the official record until there has been either a reinspection by HPD or a certification by the building owner that the conditions have been corrected. For example, because it is a fire hazard, it is a violation to keep a bicycle in the public hallway; it is unlikely that the bicycle is still there years later, but the violation will appear until either the building owner or the tenant takes positive action to remove it. Please see the question above on correcting violations. If owners see violations on record that they know have been corrected, they can contact their Borough Code Enforcement office to find out how they can be removed.

[back to top]

I see drugs being sold in my building. What can I do?
Tenants in HPD-owned buildings are encouraged to immediately report all drug activity to HPD's Narcotics Control Unit at (212) 863-7284. To secure buildings from drug dealers and vandals, tenants should ask the building manager or area office to report broken locks or intercoms.

Tenants in privately-owned buildings should notify their building owners and the police of illegal activity in their building. Owners have an obligation to alert the police to any illegal activity in their building.

[back to top]

I am an apartment building owner with difficult tenants. What can I do?
The only legal way a building owner may evict a nonpaying tenant who refuses to move voluntarily is through a nonpayment eviction proceeding in Housing Court. Owners must obtain a judgment of possession and "warrant" directing the sheriff or marshal to evict the tenant.

Many leases contain "nuisance" provisions that, under certain circumstances, allow building owners to undertake eviction proceedings for objectionable conduct. A "nuisance" is generally considered conduct that threatens the health, safety or comfort of neighboring tenants. To justify eviction, building owners need to present evidence in Housing Court demonstrating that a tenant's nuisance behavior was persistent and egregious. For further information on Housing Court, call the Citywide Task Force on Housing Court at (212) 982-5512, open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Owners contemplating legal proceedings may wish to consult with an attorney experienced in housing matters.

[back to top]

How do I buy an HPD-owned Building?
Many people have expressed interest in buying a dilapidated building and fixing it up themselves. HPD does not sell buildings in dilapidated condition to the general public. Occasionally, HPD sells buildings at market value without City subsidy through the Asset Sales program when they are in better physical shape. Current tenants in good standing are given the first opportunity to purchase their building. If the tenants are not interested or not able to purchase, the building is offered to the general public through a Request for Offers Process. Those interested may call (212) 863-7630.

HPD also works with community members and non-profits to convey clusters of buildings to local ownership for rehabilitation and management through the Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Program, Neighborhood Redevelopment Program, Tenant Interim Lease Program, and the Tenant Ownership Program.

Information on plans for specific HPD-owned buildings may be obtained by calling 212-863-8961.

The Department of Citywide Administrative Services' (DCAS) Division of Real Estate also holds auctions of vacant land and commercial buildings. For more information, call 311 (311 can be accessed outside of New York City by dialing (212) NEW YORK).

[back to top]

How can I tell if I own a Single Room Occupancy (SRO) building and what regulations apply?
Generally, SRO units consist of one or two rooms that either lack complete kitchen and/or bathroom facilities or share them with other units. SRO units are often furnished, and rent is usually paid weekly or monthly.

SRO buildings are subject to some regulations to which other residential buildings are not. For example, SRO buildings must provide one toilet, one washbasin and one bath or shower for every six SRO units. In addition, every floor where tenants reside must have bathroom facilities. Each room has a maximum occupancy of two adults, no residents may be younger than 16 years old, and each sleeping room must have at least one window that faces outside. Building managers of SROs are required to reside in the building. The NY State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) regulates rents for most SRO buildings. For more information on regulations governing SROs, call HPD's SRO Compliance Unit at (212) 863-8515.

SRO building owners who wish to alter the number of rooms, transform rooms into apartments or alter the number of kitchen and bathroom facilities must first receive a Certificate of No Harassment from HPD. For more information, view the regulations regarding Certificates of No Harassment or call HPD's Housing Litigation Division at (212) 863-8266.

How can I avoid taking a bad loan?
You want to get the best possible loan; but there are lenders out there who want sell you a dishonest or predatory loan. Predatory loans harm borrowers by making it difficult or impossible to keep up with payments. Borrowers may pay unnecessary fees and excessive interest charges. Predatory lenders prey on people who are unfamiliar with the banking system. They target seniors, minorities, or anyone whose credit makes it hard to get a regular bank loan. Predatory loans take advantage of borrowers with a variety of abusive practices and:

  • Target people of color, elderly and disabled people for high-cost loans;
  • Charge excessive interest rates and higher fees;
  • Keep secret the true costs and terms of the loan;
  • Approve a loan without considering a person's ability to repay;
  • Convince borrowers to refinance frequently (or "flip") the loan;
  • Carry terms that make it difficult for the borrower to refinance later.

What are the danger signs of a predatory loan?

  • High bank fees (call competitors and comparison shop)
  • Balloon payment (a lump sum due at the end of the term of the loan);
  • A loan is based on your home equity rather than your income;
  • Credit life insurance added to the loan

Don't gamble with your biggest asset. Call 311 and get good advice.

How can I avoid deed scams?
Homeowners facing foreclosure do have options, and must be careful to avoid foreclosure scams. So called "bailout specialists" tell you that, for a fee, you can deed your home to the bailout specialist and then rent it back. The bailout specialist takes the money, does not arrange for the short sale, and does not make any payments on the mortgage. The end result is that your home loan payments are not made and the mortgage goes into foreclosure, without you being aware of any fraud. Before you sign anything, call 311 and learn the facts and your options.

How can I avoid home repair contractor scams?
Many homeowners - especially seniors- are targeted by scam artists who use high pressure tactics to sell unneeded and overpriced contracts for "home improvements." Often these scam artists charge more than their quoted prices or their work does not live up to their promises. When the homeowner refuses to pay for shoddy or incomplete work, the contractor or an affiliated lender threatens foreclosure on the home. Home improvement contractors use several methods of targeting owners: high pressure phone calls, flyers, advertisements, and door-to-door sales. Unscrupulous contractors often employ one or more of the following sales tactics:

  • "bait and switch" - offering low prices for installed items like windows and home siding, and then telling the owner the item is out of stock and can only be replaced with a high-priced substitute;
  • misrepresenting the urgency of a needed repair
  • claiming the item is more expensive than advertised because it has to be "custom made" to fit the consumer's home;
  • misrepresenting that the consumer is receiving a discount because the home is selected to model the repair when, in reality, the consumer is paying market price or more;
  • misrepresenting the energy savings, health benefits, and value added to the home;
  • misrepresenting the terms on which financing is likely to be arranged.

Unscrupulous contractors often use deceptive tactics to hide the true cost of paying for the work. These tactics may include:

  • using more than one contract for a single repair in an attempt to confuse the home owner;
  • claiming that there is a "cash" contract that doesn't contain financing terms although the deal is intended to be financed;
  • adding extra hidden charges above the negotiated price;
  • providing expensive (high rate) financing or arranging with a third party to finance the work;
  • obtaining hidden kickbacks from lenders or loan brokers for referrals.

Once the contractor has the downpayment in hand, or if you give the contractor full payment up-front, they may disappear. To guard against this, call the Better Business Bureau beforehand to see if they have registered any complaints on the contractor, and check with Consumer Affairs about whether the contractor is licensed. Also, pay in installments, when the work is completed to your satisfaction.

Don't be scammed. If you are unsure about the deal offered by a home repair contractor, call 311.

What is an I-card and how can I obtain one?
The Department of Housing and Buildings was an agency of the City of New York responsible for building inspections and maintaining occupancy records. The agency maintained historical occupancy records called Initial Inspection cards (more commonly referred to as "I-cards”) which captured occupancy and arrangement information based on the initial inspection of the property by the agency and any subsequent applications filed with that agency during the late 1800s and early 1900s. For buildings without a Certificate of Occupancy (which was not required until 1938), the " I-cards” have been accepted as the legal record of existing occupancy as of the last date indicated on the card. The majority of the HPD I-cards are accessible by entering the building information on the home page of HPD’s website.  After entering the building information, an option to obtain I-card Images will appear on the left hand side tool bar.  Buildings with I-cards may have more recent legal occupancy records if any lawful alteration or conversion work was performed in the building after the last date on the I-card. For information on alterations or conversions conducted since the last date on the I-card, Department of Buildings records should be consulted, since a Certificate of Occupancy may have been issued or additional plans may have been approved. Pursuant to the New York City Charter, if there is both an I-card and a Certificate of Occupancy for a building, the Certificate of Occupancy controls as to all matters set forth therein. 

 Can I refinance a mortgage for a home purchased through the Partnership New Homes Homeownership Program or the Nehemiah Program?
Yes. HPD will refinance and subordinate to a new first mortgage if:

  1. A homeowner sells or refinances his/her home up to the subsidized purchase price of the home and
  2. HPD remains in second position behind your first mortgage

Click here for information about the Mortgage Services Request Procedure.

[back to top]

What must building owners provide to the Red Cross in the event of a building-wide emergency such as a fire or vacate order?
Owners of residential buildings must provide the names and apartment numbers of all legal tenants in occupancy to emergency staff in the event of a building-wide emergency, such as a fire or vacate order issued by the Department of Buildings, Fire Department or HPD Code Enforcement. HPD's Emergency Housing Services Bureau assists displaced tenants with temporary housing at one of four family centers or at Red Cross-contracted hotels and facilities.


For Developers

How do I buy an HPD-owned Building?
Many people have expressed interest in buying a dilapidated building and fixing it up themselves. HPD does not sell buildings in dilapidated condition to the general public. Occasionally, HPD sells buildings at market value without City subsidy through the Asset Sales program when they are in better physical shape. Current tenants in good standing are given the first opportunity to purchase their building. If the tenants are not interested or not able to purchase, the building is offered to the general public through a Request for Offers Process. Those interested may call (212) 863-7630.

HPD also works with community members and non-profits to convey clusters of buildings to local ownership for rehabilitation and management through the Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Program, Neighborhood Redevelopment Program, Tenant Interim Lease Program, and the Tenant Ownership Program.

Information on plans for specific HPD-owned buildings may be obtained by calling 212-863-8961.

The Department of Citywide Administrative Services' (DCAS) Division of Real Estate also holds auctions of vacant land and commercial buildings. Please call 311 for information.

[back to top]

What is the 80/20 Program?
The 80/20 Program, sponsored by the New York State Housing Finance Agency, the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), uses tax-exempt bonds to create affordable housing for low-income tenants in generally desirable locations throughout the city. The use of tax-exempt bonds to finance the construction of large residential buildings in the city greatly reduces costs. In exchange for the low-cost financing, 20% of the apartment units are reserved for low-income tenants earning no more than 50% of area median income. See Low Income Housing Tax Credit Rent and Income Limits

The apartments are not necessarily labeled "80/20" in advertisements, but would say "affordable housing."


For Vendors

How do I register as a prospective bidder or proposer?
HPD, like all City agencies, uses the Citywide Bidders list, maintained by the Mayor's Office of Contracts Services (MOCS), to obtain the names of vendors to whom solicitation notices will be mailed. You may go to the Vendor Enrollment Center to obtain the application and learn where to send your completed form. Once you register with the Vendor Enrollment Center (VEC), you will receive a card in the mail when HPD (or any other City agency) is publicly soliciting for bids or proposals for the type of work your company does. You will also be eligible to participate in solicitations that are not publicly advertised.

In addition, HPD maintains Pre-qualified Lists (PQL) for certain construction/service trades. Prequalification allows an agency to evaluate the qualifications of vendors for particular categories of work before issuing a solicitation. Only those firms that meet the pre-qualification standards can participate in solicitations for that category of work. Applications may be obtained by calling HPD's Contractor Compliance Unit at (212)-863-7815.

[back to top]

What is the difference between a bid and proposal?
Bids, formally known as Competitively Sealed Bids (CSB), refer to a contracting method in which sealed bids are publicly solicited and opened and a contract is awarded to the lowest responsive, responsible bidder. Proposals, formally known as Competitively Sealed Proposals (CSP), refer to a contracting method in which a solicitation is made through a Request for Proposal (RFP), and between receipt of proposals and award, discussions with vendors may take place, which may result in price changes.

[back to top]

What if my bid or proposal is late?
It is your responsibility to ensure that your bid is delivered by the due date and time. Late bids are not accepted. A late bid will be returned to the bidder unopened and will not be considered for award.

Late Proposals will not be accepted by HPD, except as provided under New York City's Procurement Policy Board Rules (PPBR).

[back to top]

Is there a charge for bid or proposal documents?
Yes, there is a fee for bid packages in some cases. The solicitation card notice and City Record advertisement will indicate the fee, if any. We do not charge a fee for Request for Proposal documents.

[back to top]

Can I obtain bid or proposal documents on-line?
HPD currently posts only Requests for Proposals through on-line City Record notices.

[back to top]

When is bid security required for a bid?
Bid security (in the form of a Bid Bond or a certified check) is required for construction contracts and is usually required to be 5% of the total price bid for the Contract. The bid security requirement is always specified in the 'Information for Bidders' package. If Bid security is required, then performance security in the form of Payment and Performance Bonds will also be required. For construction related services or service contracts, bid security is sometimes, although rarely, required.

[back to top]

My firm responded to an RFP a few months ago but we have not yet been notified if we have been selected. What does this mean?
The evaluation and selection process can take a number of months to complete. You can be assured that as soon as the process is completed, all firms will be notified.

[back to top]

Who selects the winning proposal?
All proposals are reviewed by an Evaluation Committee comprised of at least three (3) HPD employees with knowledge, expertise and experience sufficient to conduct fair and reasonable evaluations. Proposals are evaluated numerically based on criteria described in the RFP, and the scores are then compiled by the Committee Chair. Cost proposals are then opened and using the "Basis for Contract Award' criteria set out in the RFP, a recommendation is then made to HPD's Agency Chief Contracting Officer (ACCO), who makes the final selection.

[back to top]

My firm proposed on an RFP where our price was very competitive, yet we were not selected. How can that be?
Cost is just one factor in selecting a consultant for HPD work. Pursuant to the basis for award set forth in RFPs, a contract may be awarded to the qualified proposer whose proposal will be the most advantageous to the City, based on the evaluation factors set forth in the RFP and taking price into consideration. RFPs differ from Competitive Sealed Bids in that proposals are not necessarily awarded to the proposer with the lowest cost.

[back to top]

My firm's proposal was not selected as a winner. Can we meet to review how we were evaluated? Can we review the proposal of the winning firm?
It is possible to meet to discuss your proposal, but only after the contract has been awarded. The discussion can only focus on the strengths and weaknesses of your proposal; no other proposals can be reviewed.

[back to top]

How long does it take for a contract to be awarded?
The timeframe does vary, but generally the process takes 4 to 6 months from the bid opening date in the case of Competitively Sealed Bids, or, in the case of Competitively Sealed Proposals, 6 to 9 months, maybe more, from the time your proposal is selected until you can start work.

[back to top]

Why so long?
As you might expect, there are many approvals that need to be received before finalizing a contract. While some, like Vendex and Department of Labor Services, can occur concurrently, others cannot and are outside the authority of the HPD.

[back to top]

Our proposal was selected for award / We were selected as the winning proposers. When can we start working?
All contracts must be registered with the New York City's Comptroller's office. Once registered, a Notice to Proceed (NTP) letter will be issued to your firm indicating when you can commence work.

[back to top]

What kind of insurance do I need to maintain?
Insurance in most cases is required as part of your contractual obligation or in order to maintain active status on an HPD PQL. In general, all required insurance policies are to be maintained with companies that may lawfully issue the required policy and have an A.M. Best rating of at least A-VII or a Standard and Poor's rating of at least AA. All insurance policies must be valid/maintained for at least one (1) year.

[back to top]

I'm a small contractor, do I need to go through the formal bidding process to do work with HPD?
No. HPD uses the Citywide Bidders List for what is known as "Small Purchases" where a list of randomly selected vendors is generated and bid solicitations are sent directly to those vendors identified. In the case of certain construction and service trades where HPD maintains a Pre-Qualified List (PQL), vendors from the PQL are also randomly selected to participate. The City's Small Purchase limit is currently set at $100,000.

[back to top]

Once my firm is Pre-qualified, do we have to provide any other information to HPD?
Yes, once annually you must affirm that there have been no changes in information included in your original Pre-qualification questionnaire. Additionally, if your firm fails to respond to three (3) consecutive solicitations, it will be deemed to have withdrawn from the PQL (a response of "no bid" shall be considered a response to the solicitation).

[back to top]

I have heard about a contracting opportunity at HPD but have not seen it advertised. Why is that?
There are two circumstances under which HPD solicitations would not be advertised: if the work was solicited through a PQL; or if the solicitation is for work valued at $100,000 or less.

[back to top]

I am registered with the Citywide Bidders List but haven't received any solicitations?
Registration with the Citywide Bidders List does not automatically qualify you for inclusion on any particular PQL. You must go through a specific application process to be eligible to participate in work solicited through a PQL. Additionally, for work valued at $100,000 or less, agencies use the Citywide Bidders List through a random solicitation process of a limited number of firms, in which case your firm may or may not be selected.

[back to top]

What is VENDEX and how can I obtain the forms?
VENDEX is the City's automated 'Vendor Information Exchange System' and is one of the resources the City uses to make well-informed decisions when selecting a vendor. . Prospective vendors are required to complete VENDEX Forms (Vendor and Principal Questionnaires), which elicit background information from vendors who wish to bid on all contracts and subcontracts valued at $100,000 or more, sole source contracts valued at $10,000 or more and/or whose aggregate business with the City in the preceding twelve (12) months totals $100,000 or more. You may obtain VENDEX forms here.

[back to top]

What is the Procurement Policy Board and how can I obtain the current Rules?
The Procurement Policy Board is the body which sets procurement policy for all City agencies. Its members are appointed by the New York City Comptroller and the Mayor. The Rules of the Procurement Policy Board (PPBR) govern the procurement of goods, services and construction within the City. You may obtain a copy of the Rules here.

[back to top]

What is Backup Withholding?
Under IRS regulations, the City of New York is required to withhold 28% Backup Withholding from vendors that have missing or incorrect names or Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TIN) in the Financial Management System (FMS). In order to meet this mandate, a Backup Withholding process was developed for FMS that automatically withholds the required 28% from 1099 reportable payments and transmits the withheld amount directly to the IRS.

If vendors with whom HPD does business are subject to backup withholding, they will be receiving a "B" notice that will notify them of their status. If they fail to respond within 30 days, all future checks issued from the City will be issued in the reduced amount. The vendor will then have to work with the IRS directly to obtain information related to claiming the withheld amounts. Vendors can avoid the automatic reduction by completing and returning the "B" notice according to the instructions enclosed with the document. Please do not send the return document to HPD.

You should also be aware that HPD personnel will not be able to make any changes to a vendors status nor change the backup withholding effect on the payment process. The process is outside of HPD's control.

Vendors and agencies can contact the Comptroller's Backup Withholding Hot Line with questions about Backup Withholding at (212) 669-8233.


More FAQs

What is the best way for architects to get involved in the New Housing Marketplace plan?
Pair with a developer. Developers hire architects; the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development does not hire architects.

Keep up to date on HPD projects by checking the agency's website to see what RFPs/RFQs are currently outstanding. If the architect is working with developers/property owners and/or has knowledge of specific sites or projects that might need funding, he/she should contact Division of Neighborhood Planning, at (212) 863-6800.

Architects may also want to contact HPD's Office of Deputy Commissioner of Community Partnerships at 212-863-5128 for information about the agency's programs and how to get involved in them.

[back to top]

What is the procedure for requesting motion picture / television film permits?
HPD only offers vacant properties for filming. All reasonable requests by companies and individuals with valid permits from the Mayor's Office of Film, Television and Broadcasting are facilitated without any expense to the production. Prior to granting any scouting requests, HPD requests that the scout transmit a copy of their scouting/film permit as well as a letter describing the project with relevant dates and requesting a scouting appointment to Juan Rosario, HPD Film Liaison, 100 Gold Street, Office 6-T, New York, NY 10038. As long as there are no impediments for using the location, HPD will coordinate a scouting appointment and send a letter detailing the arrangements to the necessary parties. Under no circumstances is permission given without a copy of the applicable permit from the Mayor's Office of Film, Television and Broadcasting.

[back to top]

How can I get a job at HPD?
For HPD postings, visit this site's job postings page. To view a listing of all available City jobs, including those at HPD, visit www.nyc.gov or go to 100 Gold Street in Manhattan, room 8B.

[back to top]

How can I work as a volunteer with HPD?
There are many volunteer positions available for community-oriented individuals seeking a challenging way to give back to New York. People interested in volunteering may send a letter and resume to HPD, Human Resources, 100 Gold St., New York, NY 10038, Room 8A, Volunteers Unit. Include an explanation of what you would like to do, how much time you have, your home address and your daytime area code and phone number.

[back to top]

How do I review or obtain copies of HPD documents?
The following documents are available on-line:
• Registration Statements,
• Emergency Repair Charges,
• Maps,
• Complaint Status,
• Carbon Monoxide Installation Certificate,
• All Open Housing Code Violations, and
• Images of Certain Multiple Dwellings.

Click here

Pursuant to the Multiple Dwelling Law §328(3), computerized violation files printed directly from HPD Online may be used in Housing Court proceedings. There is no need to have these documents certified as true under the seal and signature of the HPD Commissioner.

For documents not otherwise available on line you can submit a request by regular mail or by fax to:

FOIL UNIT
HPD 100 Gold Street, Room 5-U9
New York, NY 10038
FAX 212-863-8375

Click here for  information about making a FOIL request by e-mail.

[back to top]



Sign up for HPD e-mail updates
Front of Building
More Resources
FAQs
HPD Borough Offices
Contact HPD
 
Get Adobe PDF Reader Adobe Acrobat Reader
 
View Site Map