What happens if I didn't secure a construction permit in New York

Many New York City homes are older. It's not uncommon for homeowners to go in and update their house when they first move in or as they live in it. Two of the more common rooms homeowners update are their bathrooms and kitchens. You must take out a permit with the city before starting any work. If you don't, then you could expose yourself to legal liability.

The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) is responsible for issuing construction permits for Manhattan homes. You'll need to hire both a registered architect and licensed professional engineer to render plans and help you secure permits before you can start performing any renovation work.

Making sense of all the different types of construction permits isn't easy. There are three types of alterations (ALT) and one new building one.

Most homeowners require ALT2 permits if they've going to perform bathroom or kitchen renovations at an existing building. Renovations mustn't affect the building's occupancy, exists and use. A homeowner's engineer or architect may also apply for an ALT2 permit if they plan to move a home's load-bearing wall, add more electric outlets or reroute gas pipes.

Homeowners that move forward in renovating their property without applying for the necessary permits may cause the DOB to render their building as unsafe. The city may order that a homeowner rip out any work that they performed without having a permit. A homeowner may have to pay fines up to $25,000 plus penalties and interest. You may also face criminal charges for failing to secure a construction permit.

If you've carried out a construction project on your home without properly securing the necessary permits before doing so, then you're likely to face some pretty severe penalties for having done so. You'll want to have a real estate disputes attorney advocating on your behalf as you try and negotiate with the New York City Department of Buildings. You may be able to minimize the damage to your home, finances and future by having a Manhattan lawyer stepping to represent your interests.