Council passes bill to speed up opening of new and renovated properties

Measure creates interim certificate of occupancy that doesn’t need to be renewed

New York /
Dec.December 11, 2020 07:30 AM
Commissioner Melanie La Rocca and Brooklyn Council member Robert Cornegy (New York City Council)

Commissioner Melanie La Rocca and Brooklyn Council member Robert Cornegy (New York City Council)

Just in time for the holidays, the City Council delivered a gift to developers and their contractors: fewer trips to the Department of Buildings.

The Council on Thursday voted to approve a bill that creates an interim certificate of occupancy for parts of certain buildings where construction has already been completed. The interim measure would replace temporary certificates and would not have to be renewed every 90 days, as is currently required. Instead, it will expire once a permanent certificate of occupancy is issued.

The aim of the measure is to cut down on paperwork and allow residents and businesses to move into buildings without fear of the TCO expiring. The bill garnered the support of the Real Estate Board of New York, the Building Trade Employers Association and the DOB itself.

“There’s no time to waste when it comes to helping our neighbors safely move into new apartments or get their businesses up and running,” Buildings Commissioner Melanie La Rocca said in a statement.

During Thursday’s City Council meeting, Brooklyn Council member Robert Cornegy, the bill’s prime sponsor, said the measure was a “common sense” way to make more housing available.

Residential buildings with fewer than four units, non-residential properties shorter than five stories, mixed-use properties with fewer than four apartments and parking garages are not eligible for the interim certificate. The DOB inspects properties prior to issuing the certificate.





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