Welcome to the Lavender Law Blog Resources section, a curated list of the tools and websites I strongly recommend to assist in the purchase or sale of real estate. If you find a broken link on this site or a site or tool that you think should be posted here, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a site set up by the City of New York that among other things, allows you to look up property taxes by address or by tax identification number (“BBL”), property tax history or check the last property tax payment attributable to a property.
You can look up water charges attributable to a particular property.
You can also search and pay for ECB (Environmental Control Board) violations. An ECB violation is issued by the Department of Buildings when a property does not comply with a part of the New York City Construction Codes and or Zoning Resolution. These violations, referred to as OATH (Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings)/ECB Violations, are returnable to the OATH/ECB. There are 3 ways to search. 1) By ticket number; 2) By name and address and 3) By OATH ID number.
|NYC Department of Buildings|
|Building Information Search|
You can search for general information on a property in the city including recorded complaints and violations, actions, applications, and inspections. You can search by block and lot or address to see if a building has a certificate of occupancy or permit. You can determine if there are open permits filed against a property. You can also search for information about tradespeople licensed by the Department.The information provided here comes directly from the Department’s Building Information System.
The Office of the Attorney General of the State of New York maintains a database of information related to all submitted offerings of cooperatives, condominiums, homeowners associations, and timeshares. All information, including submission and acceptance for filing dates, plan names and addresses, sponsors and their principals, listings of amendments and their contents, file numbers and other data, is updated as new offering plans and amendments are submitted and accepted for filing. You may want to review this database to review information pertaining to a building in which you are purchasing an apartment/unit in.
The Automated City Register Information System (ACRIS) supports the Office of the City Register in recording and maintaining official documents related to real estate, including deeds, mortgages and leases. ACRIS allows you to search property records and view document images for Manhattan, Queens, Bronx, and Brooklyn from 1966 to the present as well as:
- Find a Property Borough, Block and Lot (BBL) or Address associated with a Property
- Create Cover Pages and Transfer Tax Forms for Recording Documents
- Compute Property Transfer and Mortgage Recording Taxes
The Condominiums page of the U.S. Department of Housing and Development (Hud.gov) allows users to search for FHA-approved condominium projects by location, name, or status. These properties are not for sale by the FHA. FDA-approved condos are condos that meet the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s property eligibility requirements. It is important to look up a condominium building if you want to buy a condo using an FHA loan. The condo must meet these requirements and be included on the FHA Condominium Approval List. Condo associations must apply to have their project added to the list. As a general rule, if the condo development is not on the list or the approval has expired, then the project would need to be approved or re-certified before an FHA loan can be obtained.
The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (“HPD”) is in charge construction and preservation of affordable, high-quality housing for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers. You would use HPD’s online lookup to get building data and information about:
- Building complaints, violations, and litigation
- Property registration data
- Block and lot information
The OASIS (Open Accessible Space Information System) website provides a free source of interactive community maps for New York City pertaining to open spaces, property information and transportation networks. It gives you information on a particular property pertaining to: ownership, block and lot, property characteristics (i.e. lot area, number of buildings, year built, frontage, number of floors, building area, zoning and floor area ratio (FAR), zoning maps, HPD information and more.
Property Tax Benefit Information – This site allows you to search the NYC Department of Finance database to determine if a property is subject to benefits that reduce the taxable assessed value of a property, and the property tax owed. These benefits are called exemptions. “Personal” exemptions are based on qualifications (e.g., age and income) of the property owner. “Commercial” exemptions are based on qualifications (e.g., renovations) of the property itself. The Department of Finance has the following personal exemption benefit programs: Basic and Enhanced STAR, Senior Citizen Homeowner, Disabled Homeowner, Veteran, and Clergy. Among the commercial exemption programs are: 421a, 421b, 421g, ICIP, J51, DAMP, UDAAP, and Not-For-Profit. Benefits that don’t reduce the assessed value, but are instead credits against the property tax due, are called abatements. The following tax abatements are shown on the site: J51, 421g, CEP/CRP, Solar Electric Generating System, Green Roof, and Condo/Coop.
By far, the most powerful search engine in the world. Google the address of the property of interest or the name of a particular building in order to determine if anything (good or bad) has been posted on a site, blog or in social media.
Offering Planet (www.offeringplanet.com) is a collection of copies of condominium and cooperative offering plans presented by Philip J. Lavender, Esq. Offering plans are comprehensive disclosures about condominium and cooperative buildings filed with the Attorney General’s Office of the state where the property is located. Buyers, sellers and real estate agents are often frustrated by the delayed momentum of a transaction while the parties scramble to get a copy of an offering plan as part of the necessary “due diligence” of a real estate transaction.
This information is provided in an effort to streamline the process by avoiding a long delay and additional cost in purchasing a copy of an offering plan charged by a managing agent or sponsor which can range anywhere between $50.00- $200.00 per copy.