Architecture + Expediting MICHAEL ZENREICH ARCHITECT, PC

Architecture and Expediting

Legalizing an Apartment Combination

1. To legalize an apartment combination you must file a new application at
the Building Department. Since 1997 we have been able to file Type 2
applications that do not affect a Certificate of Occupancy, but rather
results in a Letter for Completion.


2. The apartments that are being combined must not be on more than two
connecting floors and must have a kitchen removed and gas capped.


3. Architectural plans must be drawn to show the original and new condition.


4. The Plans must be approved by the Coop or Condo Board


5. An Asbestos investigator must be hired to determine if there is asbestos
present. If there is asbestos, it must be removed prior to permit. If there is
no asbestos they will issues an ACP-5, NO Asbestos Report.


6. Prior to the plans being filed we need to prepare the proper forms. In order
to prepare the forms we need the Ownership and cost information.
Specifically who will sign the Building Department applications. The cost
will need to be the fair market price at time of filing.


7. Once we prepare the forms, we will request a check payable to the New
York City Department of Buildings for the filing fee. An addition check
will be needed for $165 also payable the New York City Department of
Buildings for a document handling fee.


8. In filing a legalization, we need to know if the work was done prior to or
after 1987. Work prior to 1987 does not trigger a legalization penalty. In
order to prove when the work was done, we would need a copy of the
original signed contract and canceled checks. Legalization prior to 1987
does not require open walls for a plumbing roughing inspection.


9. If we file as a legalization, a 21X filing fee penalty is required. Since the
Building Department fee is 1% of construction, this is essentially 21% of
construction cost. Construction cost is based upon fair market value of the
work at the time of filing, not when it was done. The minimum penalty is now $6000, and maximum is $15,000.


10. If the Building is in a Landmark District, it must be filed with the
Landmark Preservation Commission prior to approval by the Building


11. Once filed at the Building Department, the approval time varies from one
day to three months depending on how it is filed and what issues arise that
must be clarified, corrected and resolved.


12. After approval, a General Contractor must pull a Permit. Sometimes
multiple permits are required for architectural an mechanical work.


13. A Licensed Plumber must also pull a permit to show all plumbing work

contained on the plans. At a minimum the gas must be capped off in one
kitchen. A rough and final inspection is required to be conducted by the
plumber. In order for us to sign off an application, the plumbing must pass
inspection and be signed off in the computer system. This is indicated in
the BIS system by an “X” next to the plumbing work type.


14. After the plumbing is signed off, the Architect will conduct a final
inspection. Progress and Special Inspections reports (TR-1 and TR-8) will
be prepared , signed and filed.


15. A final cost affidavit (PW-3) will be prepared and signed by the owner
and filed with the Building Department.


16. A request for a letter of completion (PW-7) will be submitted.


17. Once all documents are accepted by the Building Department, A Letter of
Completion will be issued and the job is complete.


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