At the end of last year, the New York City Council voted to approve Intro. 2033, legislation which will create a new class of certificate of occupancy: the Interim Certificate of Occupancy (“ICO”). The Department of Buildings is permitted to begin issuing ICOs as early as mid-April. Like a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (“TCO”), an ICO will be available for portions of a project which are deemed safe for occupancy even though the remainder of the project has not been completed. Unlike TCOs, ICOs are not required to be renewed every 90 days – they expire only on issuance of a final Certificate of Occupancy by the DOB.

This new option will provide more stability for developers and building owners by providing a secure certificate that can be offered to prospective tenants without the risk of a renewal denial every 90 days and no additional required DOB interaction. It will further reduce red tape and unnecessary interactions between developers and the City.

However, not all buildings will qualify for ICO. ICOs are not available for:

  1. Residential buildings with fewer than eight stories or fewer than four dwelling units;
  2. Non-residential buildings with fewer than five stories;
  3. Mixed-use buildings with fewer than four dwelling units; and
  4. Parking structures.

Ultimately, ICOs potentially represent a significant boost to both the residential and commercial real estate industry by removing an easy to miss but essential and consequential renewal off the table and reducing the risk of unpleasant surprises for tenants.