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NYC Real Estate Glossary

NYC Real Estate Glossary

The definitive New York City real estate glossary to help home buyers and renters navigate the market in the city we call home.
  • Administrator Operated - Privately owned buildings that have been abandoned by their owners, resulting in conditions that are dangerous to the tenants' life, health and safety.
  • Alternative Enforcement Program - The Alternative Enforcement Program (AEP) is a mechanism used by the New York City to identify residential buildings that are not properly maintained and ensure that violations and the conditions that caused the violations are corrected.
  • Building Registration - Residential properties are required to register annually, providing the City with an updated list of building management and contact information.
  • Code Orange - The Sex Offender Registry now posts multiple photos of registered sex offenders, as they become available, to provide New Yorkers with additional information to keep their families safe.
  • E Designation / Restrictive Declaration - Environmental (E) declarations are created as part of zoning changes.
  • Easement - An easement is the right to use or enter onto someone else’s land for a specific purpose.
  • Energy Benchmarking - In an initiative to improve citywide energy and water efficiency, New York City requires large buildings that meet certain criteria to submit an annual “benchmarking” report detailing their energy and water consumption.
  • ENERGY STAR Certification - ENERGY STAR certified buildings save energy, save money, and help protect the environment by generating fewer greenhouse gas emissions than typical buildings.
  • FDNY Building Vacate List - The New York City Fire Department Building Vacate List are buildings or portions of buildings deemed to be an immediate threat to life.
  • Flip Tax - Despite its name, a flip tax is not a tax, but rather a fee imposed by some New York City coops any time a unit in the building is sold.
  • Flood Risk - Separate and distinct from the NYC hurricane evacuation zone maps, flood risk maps are maintained by FEMA and are a primary factor in determining flood insurance requirements and costs.
  • Geothermal Well - Geothermal wells use the earth as a heat source or sink by means of a circulating water loop.
  • Ground Lease - A long-term lease of land, on which a tenant is permitted to erect structures and make land improvements.
  • Hurricane Evacuation Zones - Hurricane evacuation zones are areas of the city most likely to be inundated during a hurricane.
  • Landmarks, Historic Districts, and Historic Places - Learn more about these potential regulations.
  • LEED Certification - LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class environmental building strategies and practices.
  • Loft Buildings - The Loft Law is a NY State law designed to protect tenants in NYC who are illegally living in commercial or factory buildings.
  • Oil Boiler Conversion - Old boilers that use #4 or #6 oils will be phased out which could lead to high replacement costs and/or higher utility bills.
  • Proactive Preservation Initiative - The City’s comprehensive approach to identifying and addressing deteriorating physical conditions in multifamily buildings.
  • Property Lien - A lien is a claim that is made against property in order to secure payment of a debt.
  • Seinfeld Rule - When a building fines an owner for having a renovation project than runs beyond a set time frame.
  • Submetering - Submetering is a process by which the supply of electricity comes into the building through a master meter and is treated as a single account from the perspective of the utility company.
  • Tax Assessment Petition - When determining how much property tax to charge condo and coop owners, New York City relies on a statistical model to calculate the property’s assessed value.
  • Tax Exemptions and Abatements - Exemptions lower the amount of tax you owe by reducing your property's assessed value.
  • Worst Elevator Offenders - The Building Department's list of the worst elevator offenders.
  • Worst Landlord Watchlist - The Office of the Public Advocate's list of worst landlords.