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Facade Inspections and Safety Program’s Amnesty Period Extended to October 31, 2020

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October 31st, 2020 will mark the new end of the amnesty period of the Department of Buildings’ (DOB) Facade Inspections and Safety Program (FISP), formerly known as Local Law 11 in New York. FISP applies to buildings over six stories and requires them to inspect and report on the safety and maintenance of their facades every five years. Cycles and their deadlines are staggered via three sub-cycles–A, B, and C–which assign building owners two-year periods in which to file reports. The extended amnesty program applies to those who missed the Cycle 8 deadline in their respective sub-cycle. Under the program, newly-filed reports can fulfill the submission requirement for both Cycle 8 and 9. As such, FISP mitigates the laborious process of getting two reports together by allowing inspections to count towards both five-year cycles, saving building owners time and money.

To qualify, building owners must pay all fines and violations upfront, including late fees on Cycle 8 reports. However, as Cycle 9 report submissions are now open early, reports intended for Cycle 8 and 9 combined can be submitted immediately. This will allow owners to avoid incurring charges while waiting for submission openings. It should be noted, however, that the DOB recently increased late fees from $250 to $1,000 a month.

The extended amnesty period benefits building owners who either missed their deadlines by negligence or due to a rejected report. It allows them to avoid both late fees and the tedious process of having to submit two reports in rapid succession. The DOB also benefits inasmuch as it will receive a burst of revenue from the program’s requirement that fees and violations be paid upfront. 

Fees will have to be paid in person at the DOB. Moreover, according to Gene Ferrara, president of JMA Consultants, building owners would be well-advised to go to the facade commission directly for owed amounts, as website estimates may be incorrect. Despite the upfront payments these fees entail, FISP appears to be greatly beneficial to building owners and the DOB–and will continue to be so throughout the extended period ending October 31st. 

 

Sources:

[1] – Schaefer, Marianne, DOB Extends Amnesty for Overdue Facade Inspections, 30 September 2020, https://www.habitatmag.com/Publication-Content/Bricks-Bucks/2020/September-2020/DOB-Extends-Amnesty-for-Overdue-Facade-Inspections?fbclid=IwAR1jgR2NaQISo-YfHuARynoLw5i_wiHGQDZXRVKDGrg2mMtxxuwCUETlfFc, Accessed 5 October 2020.

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