NYC Renovation Board Approval

By Tiffany Smolick


Board Approval Essentials When Renovating Your NYC Apartment

May 2, 2013

Now that you have an image of the dream renovation you want and just the right contractor to complete the project, you still have to be approved by the board before remodeling can begin. Here are the actions you will need to follow through with before the contractor can begin:

The Alteration Agreement
Always inform your managing agent about your intentions to renovate and request an application to fill out before beginning the project. Similar to a co-op package, this application will include many pages to fill out as well as remittance in the form of checks. The alteration agreement provides you with building rules concerning renovations and detailed documentation that will need submitted to the managing agent so that the board can approve your remodeling project.

A Whole Lot of Insurance
All subcontractors and contractors working on a remodeling job has to show proof of insurance that names you, the co-op/condo agency and the manager as parties legally insured under the policy. So if one of the contractors accidentally causes damage to the building or your apartment, each of the insured parties can mail a claim to the insurance company writing the policy. Make sure that the insurance policy states that contractors have a $1 million liability insurance and a $2 million aggregate per damage occurrence, which is the minimum they can have when working in a NYC building. Professional contractors will also carry disability insurance and workers compensation.

Proof of License
All remodeling contractors, electricians and plumbers working in NYC must give you proof that they have a valid license so you can turn this in when you submit your alteration application. The license must be signed by the Department of Buildings and be up to date. If you have a contractor licensed to work in New Jersey or Long Island, he or she will not be able to work in NYC. In addition, any building constructed before 1978 can only have contractors who are Environmental Protection Agency lead-certified contractors perform renovations on them.

Work Permits
When renovation projects need building permits, alteration agreements will need to include copies of architectural blueprints drawn up by an engineer or architect licensed in New York. Also, be ready to pay a fee for your co-op’s architect to examine and review the blueprints. Actually, the agreement should be clear about all security deposits, fees and other expenditures you will need to pay before beginning the project. Ask whether your co-op requires a down payment that represents compensation for the building’s staff in case they need to facilitate the contractor.

So that your renovation project proceeds smoothly and on time, double check your documentation to make sure all statements agree with the managing agent’s requests and take the time to find the most reputable and experienced contractors available.