Letter Of No Objection

Letter Of No Objection Applications

(Last Updated On: January 3, 2020)

A Letter Of No Objection or LNO is a document used to verify the existing legal use of a property that does not have a Certificate of Occupancy defining it’s use. An LNO is used in New York City for buildings built before 1938 prior to the implementation of the Certificate Of Occupancy protocol. The NYC Letter Of No Objection must be approved by the Department Of Buildings (DOB) for building use verification. If you have a Certificate Of Occupancy but are not sure if a proposed use would comply you can file for a Letter Of Verification or LOV.

A certificate Of Occupancy is a document issued by the Department Of Buildings identifying the legal use of a building. If a building in New York City was built before 1938 it will not have a Certificate Of Occupancy. In this case the property owner can file an Alt 1 (Alteration Type 1) with the city to get a a certificate of occupancy or they can submit a Letter of No Objection request. Additionally HPD may have an I-card on record showing the property legal use.


Letter of No Objection 

Letter Of Verification

A letter of no objection is a document for the NYC DOB that verifies the legal use of a space or building without a Certificate Of Occupancy. Certificates of occupancy came about in 1938, buildings built before that are not required to obtain a Certificate Of Occupancy (unless they under go a change of use) therefore the DOB initiated the Letter Of No Objection.



Why Do You Need a Letter Of No Objection


There are many reasons you might want an NYC Letter of No Objection. The primary reason people get these letters is because they want to renovate a space and need to verify the legal use before renovation. This comes down to filing an alt 1 or alt 2. When you change the use of a space you need to file an Alteration type 1. This is much more involved and time consuming then an Alt 2 which is for renovations without a change of use. The letter of no objection can help determine if the work is to be filled as an alt 1 or alt 2.

Property owners often get letters of no objection when they are selling or renting a property to verify the legal use for the new tenant or owner. When applying for a loan you may also need an LNO in order to get approved. An NYC Letter Of No Objection will be sufficient substitute for a building without a Certificate Of occupancy. The LNO is not a Certificate OF Occupancy but used in the absence of one. This document is enough to verify the legal use of a property if the new owner wants verification. Of course you can file an Alt 1 with the Department OF Buildings and obtain a CofO.

An NYC Letter Of No Objection can also be used for clearing violations in the case that you ave a violation for the use of a property.

For more information see: Letter of no objection department of buildings information.

See below a Letter of no Objection Sample we acquired for one of our clients in Manhattan. This was for putting a bar restaurant into an existing store that was listed as a butcher shop.

Letter of No Objection LNO

An Approved Letter of No Objection Sample for converting a store to a bar/restaurant we acquired for a client in Manhattan on the LES.

NYC Letter OF No Objection NYC Request Filling Protocols

There are a few pieces of information you need in order to fill out an LNO NYC DOB form:

  • Property Information
    • Property Address Including Block, Lot, and Owner
  • Current Use Of Property
  • Proposed Use Of Property


Applying for a Letter Of No Objection, LNO

LVO / LNO NYC DOB Supporting Documents

There are many forms of supporting documents you can include in your application. Here is a lit of some of these documents:

  • DOB records of past work applications
  • DOB Property Profile
  • DOB Microfilm records
  • DOB “Block and Lot Folder”
  • HPD Print Out of Property Profile
  • HPD I card

There are many places to look for records on verifying building use, please see another article we wrote on Building Use Verification.


Letter Of No Objection for Buildings With a CofO

If you have a certificate of occupancy and you want to see if a change of use will be acceptable with the current CofO you can file an LNO with the DOB for this purpose as well. Here are some supporting documents to include:

  • Certificates Of Occupancy
  • DOB records of past work applications
  • Property Profile on DOB


Letter Of No Objection Examples

The following are a few examples were we obtained a Letter Of No Objection For our client.


Doggie Day Care Letter Of No Objection

We obtained an LNO for a client looking to convert a retail store into a Dog Day Care. This was a tricky one because the 2 uses are separate use groups as per code. So normally this would not be approved. We included code excerpts and a letter in our submission finding code sections that supported our case for the use being allowed As Of Right. As always the supporting documentation makes or breaks the LNO filing process. In this case we got it approved due to our extensive research on the issue.

Letter Of No Objection we acquired for a client


Letter Of No Objection

Approved Letter Of No Objection


Restaurant Bar Letter Of No Objection

We obtained an LNO for a client looking to get a liquor license for a bar restaurant in Manhattan. The property did not have a certificate of occupancy so they needed a Letter Of No Objection to prove the legal use.

Letter Of No Objection we acquired for a client


Contact Fontan Architecture


Thank You for reading our blog post about the Letter Of No Objection request process.

We hope this was helpful and wish you the best of luck with your Letter Of No Objection request. Please leave questions or comments below. If you want to discuss a specific property you can contact us directly to speak with an architect. Please check out our Letter Of No Objection Services Page. We are happy to hear about your upcoming projects.



  • Pat

    April 13, 2018 4:50 pm

    I’m interested in acquiring LNO. My house was built in 1920, no CO. I went to DOB in Queens and they have no record of my building. The house is used as 3 family and paying taxes as 3 family since we bought the house. There is a studio apartment on street level basement. My sisters and I live in this studio and first floor apartments, the top floor apartment is renting out.
    My question is if I get LNO, does the house need to comply with multiple dwelling building codes, ex: fire sprinkler and fire-resistant wall in boiler room and so on?
    Thank you!

  • Eric

    June 7, 2018 12:36 pm

    my building was built before 1930 but had a very dated CO in (Brooklyn). in 2009 a LNO was applied was denied for manufacturing and then a year later it was approved. the building at that time was converted to an R6B two residential added to the original building. now we want to convert the existing CO to another type of business such as commercial in stead of manufacturing. can we apply for another LNO since it was already done back in 2011?

    would like to speak on your services. thanks.

  • Manuel Rosario

    October 26, 2018 11:45 am

    Good morning Mr. Fontan, I’m interested in contacting your office regarding a letter of no objection. Please contact me if posible.

  • Mohammad Hemel

    January 2, 2019 5:32 am

    I have no cof in my recently purchased house. it’s a single family A1 R4-1 zone with multi floors dwelling. Looks are 2nd fl has been rented. Can I ask for no object letter and still rent

  • Chris C

    November 22, 2019 9:22 pm

    Hi Jorge!

    Very informative site! We recently purchased a home in brooklyn. The home was built in 1920. The owners had been using it as a 3 family since then. There was a certificate of occupancy dated 1923 that indicates that this is a 2 family home. There were icard records on the HPD site that were dated 1935 which shows mention of department of building and permit numbers under the “alteration plans” and also mentions a legal occupancy of 3 apts dated back in 1934. How “valid” is the certificate of occupancy that was dated 1920 since it wasn’t required until 1938 and would the icard help in obtaining a letter of no objection to use this as a 3 family in this case? Thanks!

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