Certificate of Occupancy

A Certificate of Occupancy (CO) states a legal use and/or type of permitted occupancy of a building. New buildings must have a CO, and existing buildings must have a current or amended CO when there is a change in use, egress or type of occupancy. No one may legally occupy a building until the Department has issued a CO or Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO).

A CO confirms that the completed 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. The Department issues a final CO when the completed work matches the submitted plans for new buildings or major alterations.

A Letter of Completion may be issued for minor alterations that do not require a new or amended CO. For buildings built or altered prior to 1938 and a CO was not required at that time, a Letter of No Objection may be issued to confirm the legal use of the building.

Certificate of Occupancy Process

A Certificate of Occupancy has no expiration date. To obtain a CO there cannot be any open applications or violations on the property.

CO Requirements

  • Final Construction inspection Sign-off
  • Final Plumbing inspection Sign-off
  • Final Elevator Sign-off
  • Final Electrical Inspection Sign-off
  • Final Building survey
  • Final Builders Pavement Plan (BPP)
  • No open applications
  • No open violations
  • Owner’s Cost Affidavit (PW3)
  • An approved Schedule of Occupancy in DOB NOW: Build.

A Certificate of Occupancy Request is submitted in DOB NOW: Build for jobs in the Buildings Information System and jobs in the DOB NOW system. The request is reviewed by technical and operations staff and if all requirements are provided, a CO is issued.

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 the legal use of a building – 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.

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