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Generally, in NYC, a TCO for a condo can be renewed as many times as necessary as long as your CO Application is in "open" status. Please click ACCEPT so I can get credit for helping you. We can continue our conversation after this at no additional charge. Thanks!
The condo bylaws say the following "Prospactive purchasers are adviced that a temporary certificate of occupancy may be renewed only for a total of two years from the first date of issuance" and goes on to say "sponsor projects but cannot assure that a permanent certificate of occupancy for the building will be obtained within two years after the first closing"
The condo was built in 2006 and they were issued a temporary certificate..they still have a temporary certificate and it's 2009. I have just signed a Condo Contract of Sale...can I get out of the closing without losing my downpayment on this?
Yes, you should be able to unwind the contract based on the fact that they do not have a valid CO. If a TCO expires and is not renewed, a new buyer may find it difficult or impossible to renew homeowner's insurance policies or to sell or refinance the new home. This is reason enough to get out of the contract.
The law clearly states that a TCO is only renewable up to two years after issuance. So how do you know the TCO hasn't already expired? If it has, it does not matter that the contract does not have a provision that says they would need a CO to close. A buyer is entitled to back out of a sale's contract for many different reasons. One big one would be that the condo is free from any hindrances that might cause a big issue for the buyer when trying to obtain a CO. If you're trying to get out of this contract because you do not want the condo, you need to call the seller's agent and tell them that you foresee a problem with the TCO/CO because the law explicitly states that a TCO cannot be renewed for more than 2 years from the date of issuance. If you want to buy the condo, but are worried about obtaining the CO, you need to contact the Department of Buildings verify whether the TCO is in effect, and if so, why it still is, and for how much longer (it could very well be an oversight). Either way, this whole issue is reason enough to be able to back out of a contract.
I definitely understand your concerns. If the Department of Buildings is still issuing TCOs, then there will probably not be any recourse since they are they ones that would enforce any of the laws. They are obviously issuing the TCOs in spite of the law, but if they aren't adhering to the Code, there is really no one that's going to stop them. In the event of an expired TCO, what usually happens is that Inspection Services mails a notice 30 days prior to the expiration. If there is no response to the notice, and the TCO expires, a Compliance Notice is issued with a deadline for compliance. If there is no response to the Compliance Notice, the matter is turned over to the City Prosecutor for appropriate action, and the electric meter will be removed. If someone is living there, eviction proceedings can be instigated. Do you know why the CO has not been issued yet?