In a city where space goes for a premium, people are willing to live just about anywhere—even underground. According to the New York Times, as of 2002, there were about 45,000 basement units housing 110,000 people—an estimate the Times admitted was probably conservative. More Info
To put it nicely, New York City can get pretty disgusting in the summer—hot, humid, and muggy. Air conditioning is practically a must, and woe on the tenant without it. If you’re unfortunate not enough to have air conditioning—or are thinking of replacing yours—be aware that some air conditioners will require a permit known as the “Equipment Use Permit” (EUP).
What is an Equipment Use Permit, anyway?
As far as construction projects go, decks don’t seem to be all that complicated. If there’s no plumbing, electricity, or painting to contend with, they can be built in just a few days. As a result, many people end up simply getting the work done by a local contractor or even doing it themselves, never once involving the government. It’s just a simple project—why would they bother?
Unfortunately for those homeowners, their decks are illegal. More Info
For any non-cosmetic construction work, the Department of Buildings must grant the project governmental approval by issuing building permit. There are two different types of permits the DOB grants, new building and alteration permits, with three different levels of the latter. Which type of permit (Alteration Type 1, Type 2, or Type 3) depends on the level of work being done.
Normally, the Department of Buildings requests that if you want to renew a permit, you submit a PW2 Work Permit Application (PW2) at least two weeks the expiration date. However, it’s still possible to renew expired permits under certain conditions. As long as you have there has been active work on your project in the past two years since the permit expired, you can receive a renewal. However, regardless of whether you’re renewing an active or expired permit, certain situations require more information in order to be granted a renewal.
Even the most set-in-stone construction plans may end up changing as the actual work commences—different contractors, unforeseen snags, what have you. In some instances, the changes you institute may require refiling what’s known as a “Post-Approval Amendment” with the DOB. More Info
Curious about a project you’ve spotted in development? No need to look the details of the permit up on the computer to find out more about the current project. Following a law passed by former Mayor Bloomberg’s administration in 2013, every permit posting has a scannable QR code on the upper right. Simply scan the QR code with your phone, and you can instantly learn details such as type of work being done, the job applicant’s name and phone number, complaints, and violations. You can even easily make a complaint of your own through the accompanying app, should you so choose. In addition to general work permits, QR codes will also be posted on After Hours Variances and Place of Assembly certificates of operations.
The New York City Building Code prohibits apartments smaller than 400 square feet, yet you can rent apartments half that size. What gives? Aren’t those apartments illegal?
New York City apartments’ rents have skyrocketed over the past few decades—a staggering 75% in the past 15 years. Unless you’re a Wall Street banker, you’re going to need to get creative if you want to live in the Big Apple and afford the rent. Many people who choose to get roommates to split the rent aren’t keen about sacrificing their privacy, though, and ask about creating extra rooms with temporary walls. Here’s what you need to know about creating “new” rooms with temporary walls. More Info
In its continuing effort to streamline and accelerate permit processing time, the Department of Buildings has recently instituted an expedited review process for certain Electrical Advisory Board submissions. Normally, the Electrical Advisory Board governs approval of electrical installations with 1000kVA service or larger. However, starting March 2014, submissions meeting any of the following criteria are eligible for expedited review: More Info