No one is allowed to enter structures or buildings that have active, limited, or full preemptory vacate orders in effect. If a person is currently on the premises, you should call 911.
Vacate orders are issued to ensure public safety from damaged buildings, illegal or unsafe conditions, or dangerous conditions that may exist on or near the property. If you have seen people on the premises but they are no longer there, you may file a report with the City. Violations are issued when appropriate.
The amount of time a vacate order is in effect depends on the severity of the problem and how soon an unsafe condition is corrected. Details are provided on placard stickers posted on the premises by personnel from the Department of Buildings (DOB) and other agencies. Depending on the color of the placard sticker, the entire building or a specified portion of the building structure may no longer be accessible.
Once posted on the premises, placard stickers must remain on the premises until you are notified by the DOB.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, DOB is conducting inspections of structures affected by the storm. Inspection placard stickers have been placed on inspected properties.
The placard sticker colors and what they mean:
• Green - No restriction: No apparent structural hazard was observed. You are not restricted from entering and re-occupying your building. The Green sticker must remain on your premises until you are notified by the Department of Buildings.
• Yellow - Restricted use: Property is damaged. Entry limitations are specified on each posting. You must have an architect or engineer evaluate for structural damage. If you only had flooding, you must hire a New York City licensed electrician or plumber to perform work. The Yellow sticker must remain on your premises until you are notified by the Department of Buildings.
• Red - Unsafe: Property is seriously damaged and is unsafe to enter or occupy. A red tag does not mean your home will be demolished. Red tagged property indicates that there is some form of hazard that prohibits re-entry or re-occupancy, such as a structural issue. You must have an architect or engineer evaluate. The Red sticker must remain on your premises until you are notified by the Department of Buildings.
For additional information, you should contact DOB using the phone number provided on the placard sticker, or by calling the phone number provided for your borough.
• Staten Island (only): (212) 566-3227
• Staten Island, Queens: (212) 566-3587
• Staten Island,Bronx, Manhattan, and Brooklyn: (212) 566-3625