Vacates Order

The City may issue a Vacate Order to ensure public safety from damaged buildings, illegal conditions, or dangerous conditions that may exist on or near the property. The Department reserves the right to vacate premises, if upon inspection, conditions pose an imminent danger to occupants.

Under these circumstances, a Vacate Order would be posted on a visible surface of the building advising occupants of their need to leave the premises. No one can enter a structure or building that has a Vacate Order in effect. If you have seen someone in the building but they have already left, you can file a report. Violations are issued when appropriate.

The amount of time a vacate order is in effect depends on the severity of the problem and how soon an unsafe condition is corrected. Details are provided on the stickers posted on the property.

You can request information about vacate orders from the Construction Enforcement Unit in the borough where the building is located. This contact information will be listed on the Vacate Order:

  • Bronx - (718) 960-4730 or
  • Brooklyn - (718) 802-3685 or
  • Manhattan - (212) 323-8079 or
  • Queens - (718) 286-8380 or
  • Staten Island - (718) 420-3590 or

Vacate Orders can be limited to a portion of a building or structure (Partial Vacate) or the entire property (Full Vacate). The amount of time a Vacate Order is in effect depends on the severity of the problem and how soon the unsafe condition is corrected. While the Vacate Order is in effect you are not allowed to enter the building.


The City can immediately vacate unsafe, illegal apartments or rooms. Property Owners can be fined up to $25,000 and face other penalties. Additional Notice of Violations may accompany the issuance of a Vacate Order. Vacate Orders are withdrawn once the hazardous issue(s) has been corrected.

To learn more about illegal living spaces or to request a Department of Buildings inspection, contact 311ONLINE.

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