Department of Buildings and Complaints

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    • The DOB's responsibilities include issuing permits, inspecting properties and licensing trades. It also issues Place of Assembly and Certificate of Occupancy permits. Typically, code violations are reported by individuals, officials or building professionals for which citations are issued. The DOB has many resources available to assist tenants, homeowners and other property owners in renting, buying, maintaining and building property. For example, some host a Homeowners' Night where informational sessions are held for residents. The DOB's commitment to municipal building organizations is evidenced by its dedication to the enhancement and quality of building structures in the cities and states that they serve.

    Regulatory Mandates

    • The DOB regulates construction, abatement and demolition operations, which is also overseen by the fire department and the Department of Environmental Protection. At times, permits are necessary, depending upon the type of work that building owners perform. Contractors may receive permits from any or all of the departments or agencies. The DOB inspects sites and plans to establish and verify that all appropriate protocols are considered and followed appropriately.

    Buildings Information System

    • In New York City, the DOB maintains a Buildings Information System (BIS) as its main database. The database functions as a management system and is accessible by the public. The database includes property profiles; applications; inspections for construction, electrical, plumbing and elevators; complaint and violation tracking; safety equipment for fire safety, boilers, elevators, facade, signs and marquees; tracking for trade licensing; and contractor information.


    • The DOB handles complaints and issues an Environmental Control Board (ECB) Notice of Violation when appropriate in New York, which later results in a hearing at the administrative court. The notice indicates that the offending property does not comply with certain legal provisions, and includes an order to correct the condition and certify its correction at the DOB. After the correction is taken care of, a hearing is held where paperwork is presented for verification.

    Energy Initiatives

    • The DOB may author initiatives that seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, since a high rate of citywide emissions are attributed to building energy use. The DOB incorporates the use of sustainable technologies into its system to help offset harmful emissions and increase building efficiency, while decreasing dependence and costs. This can translate as a savings for builders and homeowners alike. DOB resources are designed to enhance the use of future technologies, educate the consumer about the benefits offered and explain how they may be adopted within the cities they serve.

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