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Understanding Facade Inspections & Local Law 11 in NYC

Updated: Oct 22, 2023

In New York City, building facades and exteriors must be closely monitored to ensure public safety. Local Law 11, passed in 1998, requires that buildings taller than six stories undergo periodic facade inspections. This law was enacted after injuries and fatalities occurred from failing building facades.

What Does the Law Require?

Local Law 11 mandates that building facades, walls, and appurtenances be inspected at least once every five years. These critical examinations must be conducted by a registered architect or licensed engineer. During the inspection, they will:

  • Review past inspection reports

  • Thoroughly examine all exterior walls, fire escapes, railings, parapets, lintels, window frames, and other appurtenances

  • Document the location and condition of these elements

  • Classify any deficiencies as safe, unsafe, or safe with repairs

Any unsafe conditions must be reported immediately to the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) and the building owner. Repairs of unsafe conditions are required within 30 days, with possible extensions for an additional 90 days.

Facade Inspection Reports

A detailed report must be submitted to the DOB after each inspection. The report must include:

  • Inspection procedures followed

  • Description of building exterior and brief history

  • Details on the scope of inspection

  • Listing of all conditions observed

  • Classification of each condition

  • Recommended repairs and timelines

  • Photographs documenting unsafe conditions

Building owners must acknowledge receipt of the report and commit to making necessary repairs.

Inspection Cycles

For existing buildings, the next facade inspection report must be filed within 5 years of the previous report. New buildings must conduct the initial inspection in the fifth year after construction.

There are specific filing deadlines based on when buildings were constructed. Failure to complete inspections and repairs as required constitutes a violation.

Why Comply with Local Law 11?

This law exists to preserve public safety by identifying and fixing problems with building exteriors before they turn dangerous. Severe penalties for noncompliance include fines and possible imprisonment. Beyond avoiding legal issues, properly maintaining your building facade preserves the value of your property and prevents exponentially larger repair costs in the future.

As leading New York City facade inspectors and contractors, Nexus Construction Group can expertly handle your upcoming Local Law 11 inspections and repairs.

Contact us today!


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