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What work in residential buildings does the NYC Department of Buildings oversee?
The Department oversees all jobs that require a permit - and includes (but is not limited to) construction, plumbing (including gas piping, plumbing, and fire suppression systems), electrical, elevator modernizations and structural work. Strictly cosmetic work, such as painting, does not require a permit.
How would I know if the building owner has permits for the work they are performing?
All Department applications and permits are publicly available online through the Buildings Information System (BIS) and DOB NOW. Additionally, an owner is required to post all active permits and if required, the corresponding Tenant Protection Plan occupant Notice and Safe Construction Bill of Rights in a prominent area in the building.
If you believe work is being done without a permit, you can report it by calling 311 or by submitting a complaint through the 311 online form.
What is a Tenant Protection Plan (TPP)?
The TPP provides for a list of categories that must be met by a building or site of a new building, if the building undergoing construction contains at least one occupied dwelling unit. The TPP, as described by NYC Administrative Code, Section 28-104.8.4 must provide for:
Where can I find the Tenant Protection Plan?
For permits filed in BIS, search by property address and from the Property Profile page, select Jobs/Filings at the bottom of the page and then select the Job#. From the Application Details page, select Items Required from the options at the top of the page. Tenant Protection Plan and Notes will be listed with a link if the Department has received the TPP.
For permits filed in DOB NOW, search by property address and from the Property Profile page select BUILD: Job Filings and view the job filing. If the job was created prior to December 28, 2020, the Tenant Protection Plan will be listed under the Documents section. If the job was created December 28, 2020 or later, Tenant Protection Plan section will be on the Filing Details page.
NOTE: Each permit application for construction, alteration, and partial demolition in an occupied building requires its own TPP.
What if the contractor and/or owner is not complying with the TPP?
If you believe the contractor is not following the TPP, you can report it to 311. Ask to direct your complaint to the Office of the Buildings Marshal and specify Tenant Protection Plan. In addition, you may contact the Office of the Tenant Advocate at (212) 393-2949 or by email at email@example.com.
Who can I contact if I have a question or concern about a TPP?
You may contact the Office of the Tenant Advocate at (212) 393-2949 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or file a complaint through 311.
Is protective sheeting, such as plastic covering required at doorways to apartments undergoing renovations?
Yes, as part of the Tenant Protection Plan health requirements, the contractor must take protective measures to limit dust dispersal. Typical measures may include plastic sheeting at doorways, sticky mats, and HEPA filters during construction.
What if I suspect asbestos or lead contamination?
If you suspect asbestos contamination, please refer the complaint to the NYC Department of Environmental Protection by calling 311. Suspected lead contamination should be referred to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene also through 311.
Does DOB require the property owner to notify the Department if the proposed work involves asbestos?
Yes, if the work involves asbestos-related work, the permit holder must first present a remediation plan to the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, who will issue a Notice to Proceed, if the plan is approveed. The Notice to Proceed must be presented to DOB so a work permit can be issued. Otherwise, if the applicant certifies to the Department of Buildings that the proposed work does not relate to asbestos, the applicant must present an ACP-5 form that is stamped and signed by the licensed investigator.
Who should I call if I have a complaint about construction noise?
How do I place a complaint about dust from construction?
To place a complaint about construction dust, contact 311. Ask the 311 Operator to direct the complaint to both the Department of Buildings and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Then, contact the Office of the Tenant Advocate at (212) 393-2949 or by email at email@example.com.
How do I file a complaint about having no heat or hot water?
Tenants without heat or hot water should report it by calling 311 or by submitting the complaint through the 311 online form. Heat is required between October 1st and May 31st.