Specialty Unit Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

ERT - Frequently Asked Questions
1.  What is the Emergency Response Team (ERT)?
2.  What type of emergencies does ERT respond to?
3.  How are emergencies reported?
4.  What information is needed to report an emergency?
5.  What is the contact number for ERT?
6.  Does ERT meet with members of the public?
7.  Does ERT issue violations, stop work orders, or vacates?


1.  What is the Emergency Response Team (ERT)?   

ERT is a team of inspectors who respond to citywide accidents and incidents 24/7/365 and provides EOC (Emergency Operations Center) functions and initial response 7 days a week including holidays.

2.  What type of emergencies does ERT respond to?

ERT responds to building collapses, fires, car into buildings, scaffold collapse, illegal occupancies, façade failures, unsafe work sites, crane accidents, building explosions, M.A.R.C.H. program (Multiple Agency Response to Community Hotspots), and anything that requires an immediate response from DOB.

3.  How are emergencies reported?

ERT typically receives emergency calls from the New York City Police Department (NYPD), NYC Fire Department (FDNY), New York City Emergency Management (NYCEM), and any other City or State agency requesting DOB response.

4.  What information is needed to report an emergency?

The staff member receiving the emergency call will record: the name and agency of the caller, date and time of the call, follow up call number, address, and nature of emergency.

5.  What is the contact number for ERT?

The Emergency Operations Center can be reached at (212) 393-2127.

6.  Does ERT meet with members of the public?

ERT will meet with members of the public when requested, but does not have a public counter.

7.  Does ERT issue violations, stop work orders, or vacates?

ERT does issue violations, stop work orders, vacates, and any other order available to the department. ERT doesn’t perform re-inspections for rescissions. All requests for rescissions should be scheduled through the Borough office in which they were issued.

Padlock - Frequently Asked Questions

1.  How do I file a complaint against an illegal business in a residential neighborhood?
2.  Why was a notice posted on my door to call for an inspection?
3.  I received a Warning of Impending Padlock letter stating there is a complaint against my property of illegal commercial and/or manufacturing uses. What should I do?
4.  Can I operate a business in my home?
5.  Is there assistance in relocating my business?
6.  I received a Notice of Petition and Hearing. What should I do? Where do I go? Do I need a lawyer?
7.  Is a padlocked property for sale by the Department of Buildings?
8.  My property has been padlocked by Order of the Commissioner. Can I gain access to the property?
9.  How do I have an Order of Closure removed from my property?
10.  Who should I contact to find out the status of a Padlock complaint?


1.  How do I file a complaint against an illegal business in a residential neighborhood?   

If you have reason to believe that an illegal business is being conducted in a residential neighborhood, you can call 311, the New York City Citizens Service Center, to file a complaint.

2.  Why was a notice posted on my door to call for an inspection?

A complaint was filed with the Department of Buildings against your property. When the Buildings Department Inspector visited your property to investigate the validity of the complaint, the inspector could not gain access to the premises. The notice was posted so that you would contact the Department of Buildings’ Padlock Unit at (212) 393-2622 or complete a Request an Inspection Form.

3.  I received a Warning of Impending Padlock letter stating there is a complaint against my property of illegal commercial and/or manufacturing uses. What should I do?

Correct the observed illegal conditions and call the Padlock Unit at (212) 393-2622 or Re-Inspection Request Form  online to close the complaint. If you have any questions, contact the Padlock Unit for additional information and further instructions.

4.  Can I operate a business in my home?

Generally, one can operate a business from home if one's business does not occupy more than 25% of one's home or apartment (up to 500 square feet) and one does not have any employees. For information on exceptions and additional limitations on home occupations, please see the definition of home occupation under Section 12-10 of the New York City Zoning Resolution from the Department of City Planning.

5.  Is there assistance in relocating my business?

Yes. If you would like assistance in relocating your business to an appropriate location, you may contact at the Department of Business Solutions  at (212) 618-8810.

6.  I received a Notice of Petition and Hearing. What should I do? Where do I go? Do I need a lawyer?

You should appear for your hearing on the date and time indicated on the Notice at the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH), 40 Rector Street, Sixth Floor, New York, New York 10006. An Attorney or other authorized representative may represent you, cross-examine witnesses and produce evidence and witnesses in your defense. If you are representing yourself, you may call the assigned Department of Building attorney listed on the Notice of Petition and Hearing to discuss the case.

7.  Is a padlocked property for sale by the Department of Buildings?

The Department of Buildings does not engage in the purchase or sale of padlocked properties. You must contact the property owner.

8.  My property has been padlocked by Order of the Commissioner. Can I gain access to the property?

If you are the owner, occupant, or a person able to prove an interest in the property, access can be obtained for the purposes of correcting the violating conditions or removing items from padlocked premises. The applicant must complete and file a notarized Request for Access to Premises Form (PE7).  The PE7 Instructions  will aid you in completing the form. All forms can be requested by calling the Padlock Unit at (212) 393-2622.

9.  How do I have an Order of Closure removed from my property?

If you would like to have the order of closure against your property rescinded, you must remove all violating uses from the premises and fill out the Rescission of Order of Closure Form (PE5a). Return the completed and notarized form with your original signature to the Department’s Padlock Unit. You may download the PE5a form or you may request a form by calling (212) 393-2622. If you need access for correction, see the answer to question eight above regarding access.

10.  Who should I contact to find out the status of a Padlock complaint?

Call 311 or go to 311Online. For additional question contact the New York City Department of Buildings Padlock Unit located at 280 Broadway - 5th Floor, New York, NY 10007. The telephone number is (212) 393-2622.

 

Facade - Frequently Asked Questions

1.  How should I file these applications?
2.  Will the contractor need to pull a permit under the SSP A3?
3.  What is the work type?
4.  Do I have to file a PW-3?
5.  How do I file a revision to the SSP A3?
6.  What information should be placed in the “job description” field on the PW-1 for the SSP A3?
7.  How do I get the required item for site safety satisfied in the underlying work application so the contractor can pull a permit?
8.  Will the open SSP A3 affect issuance of TCO or CO?
9.  Must the contractor keep the SSP A3 on site?
10.  Are there types of façade work that cannot be filed as an SSP A3?
11.  Can an applicant take advantage of the 2014 Code and revised 1 RCNY 3310.01 for SSPs approved prior to December 31, 2014?
12.  Do I need landmarks approval, asbestos letter or any TR1s?



1.  How should I file these applications?

These applications must be filed Pro-Cert and Non-Directive 14 only.

2.  Will the contractor need to pull a permit under the SSP A3?

No, the filing should be a no work filing. An SSP is a logistics plan and not a work plan. All underlying work (façade restoration) and any temporary construction equipment requiring filing should be filed under separate applications, as is the current protocol. No required items need be provided

3.  What is the work type?

The work type is OT SSP Façade.

4.  Do I have to file a PW-3?

No, a PW3 is not required if you eFile. Upload an AI1  and state that a PW3 is not required. If you file with the HUB, upload a blank PW3 . If you file in the borough the clerk will waive the requirement.

5.  How do I file a revision to the SSP A3?

Revisions to the SSP must be filed as a Post-Approval Amendment (PAA) to the initial A3 filing, not as an AI1. Existing protocol should be followed.

6.  What information should be placed in the “job description” field on the PW-1 for the SSP A3?

The job description field in the SSP A3 PW-1 must contain the following language verbatim: "Facade SSP Filed in Conjunction with Application …….." Provide the BIS application number for the underlying restoration work. The underlying work application must be on file in BIS (A/P Status) at the time of the SSP A3 filing but does not have to be approved.

7.  How do I get the required item for site safety satisfied in the underlying work application so the contractor can pull a permit?

Once the SSP A3 is approved in BIS proceed as follows.

  • Notify the BEST Squad by email at SFaçade@buildings.nyc.gov and include the following information in the subject line:

    • Filing Address_SSP Application #_Underlying Work Application #_Date of Approval of Underlying Work Application_Request Required Item Be Satisfied in BIS
    • Example: 280 Broadway_SSP A3 123456789_ALT 2 321654987_06-09-15_Request Required Item Be Satisfied in BIS
  • Attach the approved SSP to the email notification as a PDF file
  • Make sure "yes" for site safety is checked in section #9 of the PW-1 of the underlying work application
  • The underlying work application must be approved prior to sending the email request for satisfaction of the site safety required item
  • BEST Squad staff will review the email account on a daily basis and process the request for satisfaction of the required item. A confirmation email will be sent when the required item is satisfied in BIS
8.  Will the open SSP A3 affect issuance of TCO or CO?

The SSP A3 application will remain open in BIS and will not affect the issuance of Certificates of Occupancy or Temporary Certificates of Occupancy.

9.  Must the contractor keep the SSP A3 on site?

The approved SSP A3 and any revisions shall be kept on site and available upon request until the underlying work application is closed out (signed off in BIS).

10.  Are there types of façade work that cannot be filed as an SSP A3?

Typical Façade Alterations shall not include the recladding of a structure. For the purposes of this notice, façade recladding is defined as the removal of the exterior building envelope and replacement with a new exterior building envelope; or the installation of a new exterior building envelope over the existing façade.

11.  Can an applicant take advantage of the 2014 Code and revised 1 RCNY 3310.01 for SSPs approved prior to December 31, 2014?

Yes, provided the SSP is amended and the following notes are placed on the SSP. These notes should also be included on all SSPs filed on or after December 31, 2014:

  • This SSP is filed in compliance with the 2014 NYC Building Code (28- 104.2.1; 28-105.12.8; 28-110.1; 3310.3)
  • Site safety manger oversight is in compliance with 1 RCNY 3310.01.

Note: SSPs previous filed and approved by BEST can be revised using the A3 SSP protocol. However, the entire previously approved SSP must be submitted with the revision as an A3. You cannot just file the revised Item.

12.  Do I need landmarks approval, asbestos letter or any TR1s?

No, they will be received under the underlying Alt 2 application

[Back to Top]

Scaffolds & Sheds - Frequently Asked Questions

1.  What is a sidewalk shed? What is its purpose?
2.  When is a sidewalk shed required?
3.  What is a pipe scaffold?
4.  Who has jurisdiction over pipe scaffolds and sidewalk sheds?
5.  What is a suspension or hanging scaffold?
6.  Is a permit required for suspension scaffold work?
7.  Who has jurisdiction over suspension scaffolds?


1.  What is a sidewalk shed? What is its purpose?

A sidewalk shed is a structure constructed to protect pedestrians from objects falling from a building or construction site.

2.  When is a sidewalk shed required?

When construction work is over 40 feet high, or 25 feet high for a demolition, and whenever there is a dangerous condition, irrespective of the height.

3.  What is a pipe scaffold?

A pipe scaffold is a structure designed to support workers who are doing construction or alteration work. It is built with pipes and work platforms and erected from the ground up next to the exterior wall of a building. It is stationary (it does not move).

4.  Who has jurisdiction over pipe scaffolds and sidewalk sheds?

The Construction Division of each Department of Buildings’ borough office.

5.  What is a suspension or hanging scaffold?

A suspension scaffold is a work platform supported by cables or rope from the roof or setback of a building. It is designed to support workers who are doing work on the outside of a building. It is moved horizontally and vertically as the work progresses.

6.  Is a permit required for suspension scaffold work?

If staging or outrigger beams are used either on the roof or setback to support the scaffold, then a staging and outrigger notice must be filed and approved by the Cranes & Derricks Division.

7.  Who has jurisdiction over suspension scaffolds?

The Department of Buildings’ Cranes & Derricks Unit

[Back to Top]

Signs FAQ
1.  Who do I contact about non-commercial signs and awning permits or sign-offs on newly installed signs of any type?
2.  Who do I contact about elevator signs?
3.  Who do I contact about a bill I received for an annual marquee permit, annual illuminated sign permit, place of assembly inspection fee, boiler inspection fee, or elevator inspection fee?
4.  Where do I find more information about the sign law and registration for Outdoor Advertising Companies?
5.  What is an illuminated sign?
6.  Do I need to obtain a permit to erect an illuminated sign?
7.  How do I obtain a permit for an illuminated sign?
8.  How often must the illuminated sign permit be renewed?
9.  What should I do when I remove a sign from my property?
10.  How do I cancel an illuminated sign permit?
11.  The wording of my illuminated sign has changed; must I modify my illuminated sign permit?
12.  How do I change the wording on the illuminated sign permit?
13.  I received a bill for an illuminated sign permit but I am not the owner of the property where the sign is located. What can I do?
14.  I received a bill to renew an illuminated sign permit but the information in the bill is incorrect. What can I do?
15.  I submitted payment to renew my illuminated sign permit but I never received the new permit. What should I do?
16.  What should I do if I receive the illuminated sign permit but do not receive a bill?
17.  Why is the Department of Finance billing me for my illuminated sign permit when these charges are for fees due to the Department of Buildings?
18.  How is the annual illuminated sign permit fee calculated?
19.  Are there regulations for erecting an illuminated sign in New York City, e.g., maximum size, wording, formatting, etc.?
20.  I received a violation related to an illuminated sign on my property. What should I do?
21.  What is a Site Safety inspection?
22.  I have a question about an illuminated sign on my property. How do I cancel the annual billing of this sign permit, remove the sign, or change the wording on the sign?


1.  Who do I contact about non-commercial signs and awning permits or sign-offs on newly installed signs of any type?

Contact the Construction Inspection Division of the appropriate borough office.

2.  Who do I contact about elevator signs?

Contact the Department’s Elevator Unit.

3.  Who do I contact about a bill I received for an annual marquee permit, annual illuminated sign permit, place of assembly inspection fee, boiler inspection fee, or elevator inspection fee?

Contact the Department’s Central Filing and Billing unit.

4.  Where do I find more information about the sign law and registration for Outdoor Advertising Companies?

Visit the Signs page.

5.  What is an illuminated sign?

An illuminated sign is a sign that is illuminated by electrical means. All wiring and accessory electrical equipment shall conform to the provisions of the NYC Electrical Code.

6.  Do I need to obtain a permit to erect an illuminated sign?

All illuminated signs require permits from the Department of Buildings. Nearly all signs regardless of illumination require permits as well.

7.  How do I obtain a permit for an illuminated sign?

To obtain a permit, an application must be filed at the Department of Buildings Borough office in the borough where the sign will be located.

8.  How often must the illuminated sign permit be renewed?

An illuminated sign permit must be renewed annually. The permit is issued by the Department of Buildings, but the bill is generated by the Department of Finance. The bill is sent to the property owner mailing address, not the tenant. The tenant must contact the property owner for the illuminated sign permit.

9.  What should I do when I remove a sign from my property?

The property owner must notify the Department of Buildings that they are canceling the permit.

10.  How do I cancel an illuminated sign permit?

To cancel an illuminated sign permit, you must submit a statement from a New York City licensed electrician indicating that the sign has been properly removed or de-electrified. The statement must be on company letterhead and shall include the following information:

  • The date of removal (if known)
  • The electrician's license number
  • The address, borough, tax block, and lot number of the property where the sign was located
  • The illuminated sign permit number
  • The dimensions of the sign (height and length if known)
  • A statement indicating whether any other illuminated signs are at the location and if so, the dimensions (height and length) of each sign
  • A statement indicating that the conditions after the removal of the sign comply with the NYC Electrical Code and that no exposed wiring exists or is visible.
  • A photograph of the premise (front and side view) where sign was located must be submitted.

11.  The wording of my illuminated sign has changed; must I modify my illuminated sign permit?

Yes. The illuminated sign permit must reflect the current wording on the illuminated sign.

12.  How do I change the wording on the illuminated sign permit?

To change the wording on the illuminated sign permit, the property owner must submit a signed letter indicating the following information:

  • The new wording on the sign
  • The address, tax borough, block, and lot numbers where the sign is located
  • The illuminated sign permit number (if known)
  • The dimensions of the sign (Height X Length)

13.  I received a bill for an illuminated sign permit but I am not the owner of the property where the sign is located. What can I do?

You should mark the bill as "Wrong Owner" and mail it back to:
New York City Department of Buildings
Attn. Central Filing and Billing (CFB)
280 Broadway - 6th Floor
New York, N.Y. 10007

14.  I received a bill to renew an illuminated sign permit but the information in the bill is incorrect. What can I do?

You should indicate on the bill what is not correct and mail it back to:
New York City Department of Buildings
Attn. Central Filing and Billing (CFB)
280 Broadway - 6th Floor
New York, N.Y. 10007

15.  I submitted payment to renew my illuminated sign permit but I never received the new permit. What should I do?

If the permit renewal is not received after payment is submitted, the owner/managing agent of the property can contact Central Filing and Billing. Be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Address where sign is located
  • Borough, Tax Block, and Lot Number
  • Permit Number (if known)

Note: Tenants are advised to speak to their owner/managing agent before contacting the Department. An illuminated sign permit cannot be issued to the tenant of the property unless written authorization is given by the owner/managing agent.

16.  What should I do if I receive the illuminated sign permit but do not receive a bill?

Please contact the Department of Finance's hotline at (212) 504-4080. The permit is issued by the Department of Buildings but the bill is generated by the Department of Finance. The bill is sent to the property owner mailing address, not the tenant. The tenant must contact the property owner for the illuminated sign permit.

17.  Why is the Department of Finance billing me for my illuminated sign permit when these charges are for fees due to the Department of Buildings?

The Department of Finance provides billing services for many city agencies. Payments for illuminated sign permits should be made payable to the Department of Finance and sent directly to the address noted on the bill. Payments sent to the Department of Buildings will be returned to sender.

18.  How is the annual illuminated sign permit fee calculated?

The permit fee is established by the New York City Administrative Code, Section 26-212. The fee is based on the type of sign and the dimensions (square footage) of the sign. Any change in dimensions will require a new application to be filed.

19.  Are there regulations for erecting an illuminated sign in New York City, e.g., maximum size, wording, formatting, etc.?

Yes. Many regulations exist regarding installation of signage. For information regarding the laws regulating location and size of a sign, please contact the appropriate Borough office Plan Examination Unit.

20.  I received a violation related to an illuminated sign on my property. What should I do?

Questions pertaining to an existing or recently issued violation may be directed to the Construction Division in the appropriate Borough office. Some information may be available on the Buildings Information System. Copies of violations can also be obtained at the Borough office.

21.  What is a Site Safety inspection?

Site Safety is the inspection of new building construction for high rises of 15 stories or 200 feet and taller, or lot coverage of 100,000 square feet or more. The BEST Squad often inspects Site Safety buildings. Buildings that are not covered by Site Safety regulations are usually inspected by Department of Buildings’ borough construction inspectors.

22.  I have a question about an illuminated sign on my property. How do I cancel the annual billing of this sign permit, remove the sign, or change the wording on the sign?

Contact the Department’s Central Filing and Billing Unit.

 

Elevators - Frequently Asked Questions

1.  What is my elevator device number?
2.  Do I have any violations on my boiler or elevator?
3.  Do I need a permit to install an elevator or boiler?
4.  Do I need to file with Buildings for an installation of any elevator device if it is in a private residence?
5.  Do I need a permit to renovate, remodel or remove an elevator?
6.  Where do I get the application forms to file for elevators/boilers?
7.  How do I file an elevator application?
8.  How do I get my elevator inspected and when will the inspectors arrive?
9.  I need someone to fix/repair my elevator.


1.  What is my elevator device number?

Your elevator device number is located on the inspection certificate located either in the elevator or in the building manager’s office. It identifies the type of elevator, the borough location and the number assigned to the device by the Department of Buildings.

2.  Do I have any violations on my elevator?

Visit the nearest borough office and research information through the Buildings Information System. To obtain a copy of a violation or to get specific information regarding violations, visit the Elevator Unit at 280 Broadway, 4th Floor. Also, review Resolving Department of Buildings Violations.

3.  Do I need a permit to install an elevator or boiler?

Yes. An elevator application permit (forms ELV1 and ELV15) and the boiler application (PW1) must be filed at 280 Broadway, 4th Floor, by your elevator company or contractor/boiler-installer.

4.  Do I need to file with Buildings for an installation of any elevator "device" if it is in a private residence?

Yes. You need to file with the Department of Buildings and have an initial inspection.

5.  Do I need a permit to renovate, remodel or remove an elevator?

Yes. An application permit (ELV1 and ELV15) must be filed at 280 Broadway, 4th floor.

6.  Where do I get the application forms to file for elevators/boilers?

Application forms (ELV1 and ELV15) can be obtained at 280 Broadway, 4th Floor; Boiler application forms can also be obtained at any borough office.

7.  How do I file an elevator application?

Elevator applications (forms ELV1 and ELV15) can be filed at 280 Broadway, 4th floor. Instructions  on how to complete the application forms as well as additional elevator forms are available on Elevator Unit page.

8.  How do I get my elevator inspected and when will the inspectors arrive?

The NYC Building Code requires three inspections within two years. Inspections are performed through a computerized routing system; specific inspection dates are not given to the public or owner. To register a complaint about an elevator, call 311.

9.  I need someone to fix/repair my elevator.

The Department of Buildings does not repair elevators; it only inspects them. To register a complaint about an elevator that is not working properly, call 311.



a