A lot of times, townhouse owners want to combine two apartments without going through the process of obtaining a new C of O. Directive 14, often referred to as “self-certification” or “professional certification,” is being used more and more these days. By not requiring an on-site inspection, Directive 14 streamlines the approval process.
From the DOB website:
“The Department offers a Professional Certification Program which enables Registered Architects (RA) and Professional Engineers (PE) to certify that the plans they file with the Department are in compliance with all applicable laws. This reduces the amount of time a builder normally has to wait for a DOB permit by eliminating the process of Department examination and approval of the plans.”
That being said, there are a few things to know about Directive 14. First of all, Audits. The DOB says that 20% of professionally certified plans are audited within 10 days; furthermore, there are claims that over 75% of audited projects fail the audit, risking fines and other headaches.
Secondly, if you’re in the middle of a sale that requires financing, make sure that your lender does not require a new C of O. (First Republic is one lender I know of who can work with an unmatching C of O.) Sometimes you can opt for owner financing to get around this hurdle. Later on, if the buyer wants to refinance, she/ he can change the C of O.
Check out the DOB websitefor more.