Certification of No Harassment

Certification of No Harassment

Residential Building Criteria

Under local law, if a residential building meets any of the following criteria the property owner must apply for and receive a Certification of No Harassment (CONH) before applying to the Department of Buildings (DOB) for a permit to change the use or occupancy of a building or to demolish a building or any part thereof. See “Covered Categories of Work” section below.

These requirements apply if the building is:

  • A single room occupancy multiple dwelling (SRO). A single room occupancy multiple dwelling is:
    • A “class A multiple dwelling” used in whole or part as a “rooming house” or “furnished room house,” or for “single room occupancy” pursuant to section 248 of the New York state multiple dwelling law;
    • A “class A multiple dwelling” containing “rooming units”; or
    • A “class B multiple dwelling.” 

  • A multiple dwelling or interim multiple dwelling located in one of the following geographic areas (as specified in the New York City Zoning Resolution):
    • The Special Clinton District - § 96-110; or
    • The Special Hudson Yards District – § 93-90; or
    • The Special Garment Center District – § 93-90; or
    • The Greenpoint-Williamsburg anti-harassment area – § 23-013; or
    • The Special West Chelsea District – § 98-70 and § 93-90. 

  • A multiple dwelling on the CONH Pilot Program Building List
    • A three-year pilot program was established by Local Law 1 2018 (effective September 28, 2018) requiring owners of certain buildings to obtain a CONH prior to acquiring permits from the DOB for work involving demolition or change in use/occupancy.
    • As set forth in the law, buildings with high levels of physical distress or ownership changes in certain targeted areas of the City will be placed on a building list. Also included on the list are buildings that are the subject of a full vacate order, have been active participants in the alternative enforcement program for more than four months since February 1, 2016 and buildings in which there has been a finding of harassment within the last five years by a court or by New York State Homes and Community Renewal.
    • The owner must obtain a CONH prior to DOB approval of new construction applications for initial or reinstated permits to perform certain covered categories of work.

Covered Categories of Construction Work

  • Full and partial demolition of the building;
  • Change of use or occupancy for:
    • all or part of a dwelling unit;
    • any residential portion of the building.
  • Any alteration which would:
    • add or remove kitchens or bathrooms;
    • increase or decrease the number of dwelling units;
    • change the layout, configuration, or location of any portion of a dwelling unit;
  • Application for a new or amended Certificate of Occupancy;
  • Removal of a central heating system and replacement with an individually metered heating system (only for CONH Pilot Program buildings). 

The CONH process is intended to ensure that the owner or its predecessors did not further proposed alteration or demolition projects by harassing lawful occupants into leaving or otherwise depriving lawful occupants of their rights during the statutory review period. Once a building owner subject to one of the CONH programs applies for a CONH, building tenants, community groups, the relevant community board and elected officials will be notified of the application. HPD will collect comments from current and former tenants and conduct an investigation to determine whether harassment of tenants occurred during the applicable inquiry period.

If HPD determines that reasonable cause exists that harassment occurred, a case is brought at the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) for a finding of fact and recommendation as to whether harassment occurred. Based on OATH’s recommendations, the Commissioner of HPD or the Commissioner's designee determines whether to issue the CONH. A denial of the CONH prevents the owner from obtaining any permits to materially alter or demolish the building for a period of years under the applicable law or, depending on the applicable CONH program, the owner may be required to, or have the option of, constructing a certain percentage of low income housing units to address the harassment finding.

How to Apply for a CONH

To apply for a CONH, a property owner must complete the application and pay the required fee as noted on the application (Note: this fee will increase to $160 per existing unit for applications submitted after July 1, 2018).

Applications may be submitted to HPD online or by submitting a paper application.

Online: You may submit a CONH Application or CONH Exemption Application for SROs, Special Zoning Districts or for the Pilot Program via the HPD Enforcement Desk. You must establish a new user account for this application (you cannot use your existing PROS or eCertification accounts). You must confirm your user account registration by responding to the HPD Enforcement Desk confirmation email. Note: If you are using Google Chrome and the application does not open, please try a different browser.

Paper Application Process: You may submit a paper application as well by downloading the appropriate form below:

Please read the complete instructions about how to apply and information regarding the submission of additional documents for each application.

Contact

For questions related to the CONH program, applications for SROs, Special Districts and the pilot program, please contact conhinfo@hpd.nyc.gov.