Unsafe Buildings

An Unsafe Building (UB) is a structure, or part of a structure, or a premise that is a danger to public safety because it is:

  • Open
  • Vacant
  • Unguarded and/or
  • Structurally compromised

The Department initiates proceedings in State Court against unsafe buildings throughout the five boroughs. The Unsafe Buildings Unit prosecutes these cases under the provisions of the Administrative Code (AC) of the City of New York set forth in AC Sections 28-216.1 through 28-216.11.

Steps typically include the following

  1. The Department serves the parties interested in the property with a Notice of Survey and Summons, stating that the owner, or his/her agent, must take action to cure the unsafe building condition.
  2. A survey, or inspection, of the property is conducted before the court date.
  3. If, based on the results of the survey, the judge determines that the building is unsafe and interested parties are not working to correct the unsafe condition, the judge issues a Precept, or order, authorizing the City to do work to remove the unsafe building condition and to charge the costs of that work to the property.

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