New Enforcement by the Department of Buildings of Adjoining Property Notification Requirement

November 10, 2016

The New York City Department of Buildings ("DOB") made significant changes to the New York City Building Code (the "Code") in its 2014 version. One frequently overlooked new section is getting some recent attention and it is one that developers and adjoining owners alike should be aware of. Section 3309.1.1 is a new notification requirement that states:

Where a construction or demolition project will require access to adjoining property in accordance with this section, written notification shall be provided to the adjoining property owner at least 60 calendar days prior to the commencement of work. Such notification shall describe the nature of the work, estimated schedule and duration, details of inspections of monitoring to be performed on the adjoining property, protection to be installed on the adjoining property, and contact information for the project. Where no response is received, a second written notification shall be made no more than 45 days, and not less than 30 calendar days, prior to the commencement of the work.

While this section has been in effect for some time, only recently has the DOB started to enforce this provision and is requiring developers to show proof of this notification sent by mail with a return receipt requested. It is not yet known how diligently or uniformly the DOB will enforce this proof of notice requirement, but developers or owners performing work that will involve access to an adjoining property should send this notification to avoid any delays. It appears that the notification can be in the form of a proposed license agreement.

If a developer or owner needs access to another party's property they will need an access agreement or court order in any event, and sending the notice will not alleviate that requirement, but complying with this procedural notice should be adhered to in order to avoid any delays in the permitting process.

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