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Taking Ownership: Updates on the Property Ownership Certification Form

What to watch out for when enforcement begins August 16, 2021.

After being postponed in late June 2021, the Department of Buildings has indicated the new Property Ownership Certification form will be required starting August 16, 2021.

The revised service notice the DOB published on August 10, 2021 includes favorable text revisions and clarifies Property Ownership Certification form applicability will be limited to New Building and Alteration–CO application types. We believe this better aligns with the text and intent of Local Law 160 of 2017, which the new form is meant to help enforce.

For New Building and Alteration-CO application types created on or after the effective date, building owners will be required to complete and submit the form to verify whether the property owner or entity involved owes more than $25k in covered arrears to the City of New York.

Covered arrears are defined in the latest update as:

  • “unpaid fines or civil penalties resulting from a decision by OATH or a court on a violation issued by DOB to the owner of the property (and the decision is not in the appeal process)” or
  • “any other unpaid fees or other charges owed to DOB that are not a result of a decision by OATH or a court.”

Who Has to File?

As of this writing, the “Owner” of the property who must be certified is whoever is listed as the property owner in the NYC Department of Finance records. If said owner is an entity rather than an individual, only the entity as a whole need be listed.

This is a departure from earlier guidance, discussed by Decoder, that said that each individual shareholder, partner, member, etc. had to be listed, and should greatly simplify the process.

In addition, the individual owner, or any member of the entity listed as the owner in DOF records, may sign the form.

In the case of condominiums and cooperatives:

  • For permits pertaining to work on the building, only the building owner and their properties needs to be listed. Any owners of individual units may be excluded.
  • For work on an individual unit, only the owner of the unit in question needs to be listed on the form. (See exception below for unit tenants filing for a tenant-occupied space).

Requirement Exceptions

Only jobs for government-owned properties or jobs filed by a tenant for a tenant-occupied space will be exempt from this requirement.

For the first, government-owned properties under owner types NYC Agency, NYCHA/HHC, Other Government Owned and Operated, or School Construction Authority will automatically be exempt – the form will not appear in the Documents section, and the application can be filed without the form.

For Alt-CO applications filed by a tenant for a tenant-occupied space, a waiver request will need to be processed in DOB NOW prior to permit.

If Covered Arrears Exceed the Limit

While the arrears of every individual owner on a single job will no longer be taken into account, if the total sum of the listed owner or entity’s covered arrears (not currently in the appeals process) exceeds $25K, NB or ALT-CO permits may be denied.

Please refer to the service notice published August 10, 2021 (listed below) for more information.

For assistance navigating the application process and resolving violations, or for any other code concerns, Outsource Consultants is here to help.



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