Obtain a Certificate of Occupancy

A Certificate of Occupancy (CO) states the legal use and/or type of permitted occupancy for a building. New buildings must have a CO, and existing buildings must have a current or amended CO when construction will change their use, egress or type of occupancy.

No one may legally occupy a building until the Department has issued a Certificate of Occupancy or Temporary Certificate of Occupancy.

The Department issues a final Certificate of Occupancy when the completed work matches the submitted plans for new buildings or major alterations. It issues a Letter of Completion for minor alterations to properties. These documents confirm the work complies with all applicable laws, all paperwork has been completed, all fees owed to the Department have been paid, all relevant violations have been resolved and all necessary approvals have been received from other City Agencies.

Searching for the CO of a Property

Certificate of Occupancy Request before March 1, 2021

Use the Building Information Search in the Buildings Information System (BIS) to search by property address. From the Property Profile Page select View Certificates of Occupancy. If a Certificate of Occupancy has been issued, it will be listed on this page and can be printed by selecting the hyperlinked pdf file.

Certificate of Occupancy Request on or after March 1, 2021

Use the Address search in DOB NOW to search by property address. From the top of the Property Profile Page select Certificate of Occupancy. If a Certificate of Occupancy has been issued, a new window will open with the Certificate of Occupancy Details and Floor Use Records. Use the Print button on this window to print a copy of the CO.

Proof of the Legal Use of a Building Without a CO

Buildings built before 1938 aren’t required to have a Certificate of Occupancy – unless later alterations changed its use, egress or occupancy. If you require proof of a building’s legal use – and it’s exempt from the CO requirement – contact the Department’s borough office where the property is located to request a Letter of No Objection.

Temporary CO

Owners must make sure a building or unit has a Certificate of Occupancy. In some circumstances, the Department may determine that a property is safe to occupy, but there are outstanding issues requiring final approval. A Temporary Certificate of Occupancy – or TCO – indicates the property is safe for occupancy, but the TCO has an expiration date. TCOs typically expire 90 days after issuance.