Certificate Of Occupancy(Last Updated On: May 12, 2019)
A Certificate Of Occupancy is a document that describes the legal use and maximum occupancy for a building. The Certificate lists individual building uses, number of people who can occupy each space, a description of each use.
Certificate Of Occupancy
A certificate Of Occupancy (also known as a “CO”, or “C of O”) is issued by the Department of Buildings to identify the legal use of a building. Certificates Of Occupancy are issued at the completion of a New Building or Alteration Type 1. This means completion of construction, all required inspections, and completion of all paperwork. Obtaining a Certificate Of Occupancy requires coordination and thorough review of the building.
- What is listed on a Certificate Of Occupancy?
- Requirements for a Certificate of Occupancy
- Alteration Type 1
- Letter Of No Objection
- Temporary Certificate Of Occupancy
- Requirements for a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy
What is listed on a Certificate Of Occupancy in NYC?
- General Building Information
- Certificate Type
- Applicable Building Code
- Building Construction Classification
- Building Occupancy Group
- Multiple Dwelling Law Designation (if applicable)
- Building Size
- Description of Fire Protection Systems
- Type and number of open spaces
- Additional Limitations / Restrictions
- List Of Floors with:
- Maximum number of persons per space
- Structural live load per floor
- Building Code Occupancy Group
- Number of Dwelling or Rooming Units
- Zoning Use Group per space
- Description of Each Use
Requirements for a NYC Certificate of Occupancy
Below is a list of some of the items that may be required to obtain a Certificate Of Occupancy.
- Final Construction inspection Sign-off
- Final Plumbing inspection Sign-off
- Final Elevator Sign-off
- Final Electrical Inspection Sign-off
- Special Inspections Sign Off
- Progress Inspections Sign Off
- EN2 As Built Energy Analysis
- Final Building survey
- Final Builders pavement plan
- Property Address from Borough President’s Office
- No open applications
- No open violations
- Owner’s Cost Affidavit (PW3)
Additionally a PW7 must be filed in order to request a certificate of occupancy upon completion of all required items.
Alteration Type 1 and New Buildings
A Certificate Of Occupancy is issued for 1 of 2 project types: New Buildings or Alteration Type 1.
All new buildings must obtain a C of O in order to be occupied. This involves filling a NB New Building application with the NYC Department of Buildings.
Alteration Type 1
An Alteration Type 1 or Alt 1 is filed for any alteration that requires a New Certificate Of Occupancy. This is defined by any alteration that has a change in Use Occupancy or Egress.
Letter Of No Objection
Sometimes when you have an existing building you do not know if an alteration will require a new certificate of Occupancy or not. Or if a proposed use qualifies under the existing use. Sometime your building does not have a Certificate Of Occupancy.
Letter Of No Objection or LNO
If you own a building which does not have a Certificate Of Occupancy you can file a Letter Of No Objection or LNO with the NYC DOB to determine if the proposed use requires a new Certificate Of Occupancy. An LNO is not a permit. It is literally just stating that the DOB does not object to the proposed use. Any work would have to be filed separately for permits.
Letter Of Verification or LOV
If you own a building which has a Certificate Of Occupancy but you are uncertain if a specific use is covered you can file a Letter Of No Verification or LOV with the NYC DOB to determine if the proposed use requires a new Certificate Of Occupancy. An LOV is not a permit. It is literally just stating that the DOB verifies the proposed use is covered under the existing CO. Any work would have to be filed separately for permits.
Temporary Certificate Of Occupancy
A Temporary Certificate Of Occupancy or TCO can be issued before a final Certificate Of Occupancy. This is usually done when there are some open items on the building that are not critical for the C of O. Below is a list of some of the items that may be required to obtain a Temporary Certificate Of Occupancy.
- Temporary or Final Construction inspection sign-off
- Temporary or Final Plumbing inspection sign-off
- Temporary or Final Electrical inspection sign-off
- Temporary Elevator sign-off (if applicable)
- TCO Fees
NYC Certificates Of Occupancy
As an architect I study NYC building protocols, but these are complicated and quite involved issues. In this article we reviewed some of the basic concepts with regards to a Certificate Of Occupancy. This post does not assume to cover every possible issue or condition, but provide a general overview of the topic.
Thank you for reading our blog post on Certificate Of Occupancy.
I hope this was helpful. Please leave questions and comments below. If you would like to speak with an architect you can Contact Fontan Architecture directly.
Author Jorge Fontan AIA
This post was written by Jorge Fontan, a Registered Architect and owner of Fontan Architecture.