VI.4 Condominiums and Billing BBLs

Condominiums are a class of properties with unique characteristics.  A condominium consists of condominium units, each of which constitutes a separate tax lot that has its own BBL.  In a residential condominium, the condominium units are generally the individual apartments. In a commercial condominium, the units might be retail shops or blocks of space in an office building. There are also mixed-use condominiums that have both commercial and residential units. A condominium can encompass all or part of a building or more than one building, possibly on more than one tax block.

The individual units in a condominium (but not the condominium itself) are parcels of real property. For example, title to an individual unit can be conveyed via a deed; unit owners are responsible for paying real estate taxes directly to the city; and liens can be placed against units.

Many municipal operations relate to condominiums as a whole rather than to specific condominium units. Examples are collecting sanitation fines, issuing code violations and inspecting and licensing building-wide systems such as boilers and elevators.

To distinguish condominiums from their constituent units, DOF has assigned to each condominium a set of special tax lot identifiers called the billing BBL.  (Condominiums are also identified by a Condominium Identification Number, also assigned by DOF.) If a condominium occupies land on more than one tax block, DOF assigns a billing BBL to each portion of the condominium on a separate tax block. Function BL accepts billing BBLs as valid input data, and Functions 1A and BN return them as output data.

DOF assigns billing BBLs only to condominiums, not to condominium units or non-condominium properties. Billing BBLs do not represent actual tax lots, and are not lienable. However, billing BBLs do provide a mechanism to obtain the name and address of a more appropriate party than a unit owner to communicate with concerning condominium-wide matters. DOF maintains files keyed to BBL which, for conventional BBLs, contain the names and addresses of parties registered to receive bills for real property taxes, often the property owner, but possibly a property manager, attorney or mortgagee. For a condominium billing BBL, the party listed might be an officer of the condominium, a property manager or an attorney. (Note: Geosupport does not provide direct access to DOF’s files; to arrange such access, contact DOF.) In some instances there may be a condominium that has not yet been assigned a Billing BBL by DOF (or the Billing BBL was not yet available when the Geosupport files were generated); in these cases the BBL that is returned by Geosupport is set to zero and a warning message is issued.