Letter Of No Objection Applications

by | Dec 10, 2017 | New York City, NYC DOB

A Letter Of No Objection or LNO is a document used to verify the existing legal use of a property that does not have a Certificate of Occupancy defining it’s use. An LNO is used in New York City for buildings built before 1938 prior to the implementation of the Certificate Of Occupancy protocol. The NYC Letter Of No Objection must be approved by the Department Of Buildings (DOB) for building use verification. If you have a Certificate Of Occupancy but are not sure if a proposed use would comply you can file for a Letter Of Verification or LOV.

A certificate Of Occupancy is a document issued by the Department Of Buildings identifying the legal use of a building. If a building in New York City was built before 1938 it will not have a Certificate Of Occupancy. In this case the property owner can file an Alt 1 (Alteration Type 1) with the city to get a a certificate of occupancy or they can submit a Letter of No Objection request. Additionally HPD may have an I-card on record showing the property legal use.


Letter of No Objection 

Letter Of Verification

A letter of no objection is a document for the NYC DOB that verifies the legal use of a space or building without a Certificate Of Occupancy. Certificates of occupancy came about in 1938, buildings built before that are not required to obtain a Certificate Of Occupancy (unless they under go a change of use) therefore the DOB initiated the Letter Of No Objection.



Why Do You Need a Letter Of No Objection


There are many reasons you might want an NYC Letter of No Objection. The primary reason people get these letters is because they want to renovate a space and need to verify the legal use before renovation. This comes down to filing an alt 1 or alt 2. When you change the use of a space you need to file an Alteration type 1. This is much more involved and time consuming then an Alt 2 which is for renovations without a change of use. The letter of no objection can help determine if the work is to be filled as an alt 1 or alt 2.

Property owners often get letters of no objection when they are selling or renting a property to verify the legal use for the new tenant or owner. When applying for a loan you may also need an LNO in order to get approved. An NYC Letter Of No Objection will be sufficient substitute for a building without a Certificate Of occupancy. The LNO is not a Certificate OF Occupancy but used in the absence of one. This document is enough to verify the legal use of a property if the new owner wants verification. Of course you can file an Alt 1 with the Department OF Buildings and obtain a CofO.

An NYC Letter Of No Objection can also be used for clearing violations in the case that you ave a violation for the use of a property.

For more information see: Letter of no objection department of buildings information.

See below a Letter of no Objection Sample we acquired for one of our clients in Manhattan. This was for putting a bar restaurant into an existing store that was listed as a butcher shop.

Letter of No Objection LNO

An Approved Letter of No Objection Sample for converting a store to a bar/restaurant we acquired for a client in Manhattan on the LES.

NYC Letter OF No Objection NYC Request Filling Protocols

There are a few pieces of information you need in order to fill out an LNO NYC DOB form:

  • Property Information
    • Property Address Including Block, Lot, and Owner
  • Current Use Of Property
  • Proposed Use Of Property


Applying for a Letter Of No Objection, LNO

LVO / LNO NYC DOB Supporting Documents

There are many forms of supporting documents you can include in your application. Here is a lit of some of these documents:

  • DOB records of past work applications
  • DOB Property Profile
  • DOB Microfilm records
  • DOB “Block and Lot Folder”
  • HPD Print Out of Property Profile
  • HPD I card

There are many places to look for records on verifying building use, please see another article we wrote on Building Use Verification.


Letter Of No Objection for Buildings With a CofO

If you have a certificate of occupancy and you want to see if a change of use will be acceptable with the current CofO you can file an LNO with the DOB for this purpose as well. Here are some supporting documents to include:

  • Certificates Of Occupancy
  • DOB records of past work applications
  • Property Profile on DOB


Letter Of No Objection Examples

The following are a few examples were we obtained a Letter Of No Objection For our client.


Doggie Day Care Letter Of No Objection

We obtained an LNO for a client looking to convert a retail store into a Dog Day Care. This was a tricky one because the 2 uses are separate use groups as per code. So normally this would not be approved. We included code excerpts and a letter in our submission finding code sections that supported our case for the use being allowed As Of Right. As always the supporting documentation makes or breaks the LNO filing process. In this case we got it approved due to our extensive research on the issue.

Letter Of No Objection we acquired for a client


Letter Of No Objection

Approved Letter Of No Objection


Restaurant Bar Letter Of No Objection

We obtained an LNO for a client looking to get a liquor license for a bar restaurant in Manhattan. The property did not have a certificate of occupancy so they needed a Letter Of No Objection to prove the legal use.

Letter Of No Objection we acquired for a client



Thank You for reading our blog post about the Letter Of No Objection request process.

We hope this was helpful and wish you the best of luck with your Letter Of No Objection request. Please leave questions or comments below. If you want to discuss a specific property you can contact us directly to speak with an architect.

Contact Fontan Architecture


Jorge Fontan
Jorge Fontan

This post was written by Jorge Fontan AIA a Registered Architect and owner of New York City architecture firm Fontan Architecture. Jorge Fontan has earned 3 degrees in the study of architecture including two degrees from the City University of New York and a Masters Degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Jorge has a background in construction and has been practicing architecture for 15 years where he has designed renovations and new developments of various building types.