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Safety Now, Or Pay Later

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In New York City, safety inspections are imperative, and are strictly regulated by the city’s Department of Buildings (DOB).  There are resources available that can make the inspection process significantly easier than it might otherwise be, including a wealth of information regarding building requirements available online on the DOB’s website.

The DOB requires registration and filings related to annual boiler inspections, annual elevator inspections, and, once every five years, ‘Local Law 11’ inspections. Local Law 11 (now called the Façade Inspection Safety Program or FISP), applies to buildings six stories high and counting, and requires an inspection of the entire envelope of the building to determine if there are unsafe conditions, such as loose bricks.  Cooling towers, used as a part of the building’s cooling system, must now be registered with the DOB due to an unfortunate and recent outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease.

Failure to maintain building systems can not only lead to illness and catastrophic injury, but some hefty fines has well.

  • Elevator violations can result in a $1,000 fine
  •  Boiler-related fines can lead to $1,500 annually.
  • Failure to comply with Local Law 11 once every half-decade will cost $250 per month until compliance requirements are met.

City fines are just the beginning.  Failure to safely take care of a condo or co-op property can have serious insurance-related consequences.  If an insurance company is notified that a building is overlooking safety concerns, they can drop coverage.  A lack of coverage can lead to mortgage lending issues, catastrophic losses, and major impacts on resale value.

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