Enforcement Season: Façade and Scaffold Safety Blitz begins from the DOB

March 3, 2021

Last week, the Department of Buildings (DOB) announced the launch of a façade and scaffold safety blitz to increase inspections of unsafe façades across New York City. During those inspections, DOB will also focus its attention on the safety of scaffolding installed on and around those properties. In the announcement, DOB declared its intent to hold building owners accountable for proper maintenance of their building’s façades and reaffirmed its enforcement of recently increased penalties to building owners not in compliance.

This stepped-up enforcement comes on the heels of DOB’s December 2019 enforcement enhancements and February 2020 changes to Local Law 11 in which DOB doubled the size of its dedicated Façade Inspection Safety Program (FISP) unit, significantly increased inspections and follow-up inspections for façade violations, and initiated proactive safety compliance reviews for all buildings greater than six stories in height.

More than ever, property owners and managing agents must be cognizant of their obligations under Local Law 11, including FISP inspection and reporting requirements. The inspections, reports and, often, resulting repairs required by Local Law 11 require experienced façade design professionals, and frequently also necessitate access to neighboring properties.

Howard L. Zimmerman Architects & Engineers, P.C. (HLZAE) provides their clients with a thorough evaluation and analysis of building façades to allow the building to make conscientious restoration and construction decisions and maintain compliance with FISP requirements. Their goal is to consistently provide the highest quality professional architectural and engineering services to preserve a facade’s integrity while factoring in safety, logistics and the reality of their clients’ budgets and goals. According to the DOB’s statistics, HLZAE is also the largest filer of FISP reports in New York City.

Herrick’s Construction and Development Practice, which combines the knowledge and experience of its real estate and litigation attorneys, is well-versed in Local Law 11 and related matters.

HLZAE and Herrick are prepared to assist you as you navigate this pertinent and imperative initiative.

For more information on the issues in this alert, or other real estate matters, please contact:

Brendan Schmitt at +1 212 592 1689 or [email protected]
Michael A. Smith at +1 212 592 1605 or [email protected]
Robert Huberman at +1 212 592 1592 or [email protected]

© 2021 Herrick, Feinstein LLP. This alert is provided by Herrick, Feinstein LLP to keep its clients and other interested parties informed of current legal developments that may affect or otherwise be of interest to them. The information is not intended as legal advice or legal opinion and should not be construed as such.