City Council Passes Bill to Facilitate Opening of New Buildings
On Dec. 10, 2020, the New York City Council passed Intro. 2033, creating Interim Certificates of Occupancy (ICOs). Certificates of Occupancy are government documents that indicate the legal use and occupancy of buildings.
The bill allows for a new type of temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO) for buildings in the city. It allows the DOB to issue ICOs for parts of certain buildings where construction has already been completed. ICOs would replace temporary certificates and wouldn’t have to be renewed every 90 days, as is currently required. Once the DOB issued a TCO, renewal applications had to be filed every three months until the project was completed and a Final Certificate of Occupancy was issued. Failure to properly renew the paperwork for a TCO could lead to enforcement actions from the DOB. Instead, the new ICOs will expire once a permanent Certificate of Occupancy is issued.
In addition to reducing paperwork and eliminating inefficiencies, the new ICOs are intended to give commercial and residential tenants peace of mind by allowing them to move into a newly constructed space without having to worry about their temporary Certificate of Occupancy expiring or outstanding issues requiring DOB intervention. ICOs will also add much needed certainty for developers when securing financing for their projects.
The ICOs require comprehensive DOB field inspections before they can be issued. Residential buildings with fewer than four units, nonresidential properties shorter than five stories, mixed-use properties with fewer than four apartments, and parking garages are not eligible for the interim certificate.