No certificate of occupancy on a multi family home?

Asked by siskinator, Brooklyn, NY Tue Oct 29, 2013

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Mitchell Feldman’s answer
Mitchell Fel…, Agent, Brooklyn, NY
Tue Oct 29, 2013
Dear siskinator:

If the house was built prior to 1938 it is not legally required to have a certificate of occupancy. There are other ways to determine and prove the legal use of properties built before 1938 aside from a certificate of occupancy. Here is a page on NYC,gov that talks about this:

You can go to this web page on to look into whether or not a property has a certificate of occupancy:

If you need further assistance, feel free to contact me direct.

Mitchell S. Feldman
Associate Broker/ Director of Sales/ e-Pro Realtor
Fillmore Real Estate
Office: (718) 252-2000/ Cell: (917) 805-0783
0 votes
Michael Denn…, Agent, Queens, NY
Mon Nov 4, 2013
HI Siskinator, as my colleagues have stated buildings constructed prior to 1938 do not require a Certificate of Occupancy. The current use of the building ( in title report) how it's taxed, appraised and presented in the sales contract are all important facts that we would need to know before further comment. The mere fact that it doesn't have a C of O is not sufficient information to determine how this impacts you as a current or prospective owner.

For more information, I can be contacted directly at 917.699.0183 or

Please hit best answer or thumbs up if my reply was helpful. All the best.

Michael Denniston
Senior Mortgage Banker
NMLS# 24076
The Federal Savings Bank
Direct Lender. All 50 States
0 votes
Kathryn Lilly, Agent, New York, NY
Tue Oct 29, 2013
There are many buildings in New York that do not have a certificate of occupancy, and do not need one. But that said they do still have a legal use.
Certificates of Occupancy only came into existence in the 1930's so if a building was built before then and the use has never been changed, it may well NOT have a C of O.
The quick way to check on the legal use is to check what HPD have it listed as. The legal use will come out with a full title search. And most Banks do accept legal use.
Please feel free to contact me if you have further questions,
Kathryn Lilly, Broker
Realty on the Greene, LLC
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Tue Oct 29, 2013
What specific information are you looking for...keep in mind that lenders may not lend without a c/o, homeowner's insurance may not insure, and if and when you do resell, any future buyer may have concerns....consult with your attorney...
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