Owners of buildings whose facades fail to fulfill safety rules now face harsher penalties under New York City's Facade Inspection and Safety Program, or Local Law 11 facade.
The regulation was changed on Feb. 20, after an architect was killed by falling rubble from a Manhattan skyscraper in December. They included additional sanctions as well as more stringent inspection and paperwork requirements.
If an owner is charged with breaking the city's administrative code, which includes a potential penalty of $25,000 and a year in prison, the latter might happen under an already existing legislation.
According to Hoffman Architects Inc.'s communications manager, Alison Hoffman, the firm highlights the following in a piece of client advice sent ahead of the amendments taking effect: • Failure to produce an approved inspection report now carries a civil penalty of $5,000, a fivefold increase.
• Owners who file late face a $1,000 monthly penalty, which is four times the preceding monthly punishment.
• Owners who fail to repair harmful situations face a $1,000 monthly penalty, as well as a monthly fine for each linear foot of sidewalk shed, which begins at $10 per linear ft of shed per month after the first year and rises to $40 per linear ft each year after that.
• A penalty of $2,000 is imposed for failing to rectify a "safe with a repair and maintenance program," or SWAMP, condition from a prior "cycle" of the statute such that it must now be filed as unsafe under the current standards.
Penalties for Violation
The New York City Department of Buildings, Local Law 11 Contractors NYC, on the other hand, did not wait for the revisions before enacting tougher penalties for violation.
It started issuing emergency declarations in January, requiring owners to repair unsafe building facades and allowing the city to deploy its builders to install scaffolding—and then tax the property owner.
Even yet, non-compliant owners will face additional challenges as a result of the reforms.
According to Frank Scanlon, a CTA Architects colleague, "the updated guidelines would undoubtedly result in a greater cost for owners of impacted properties." "There are extra scaffold drops necessary, as well as potential probes that may require filing depending on the wall type." Penalties and fines are imposed.
The increased need for close-up physical scaffold checks of outside walls, which owners or their agents must now undertake at intervals of 60 feet throughout the length of a facility, is one important change, according to Scanlon.
Close-up inspections cannot be replaced by drones, high-resolution pictures, or other techniques of checking external wall problems.
Additional criteria linked to the expertise and duties of experienced external wall inspectors, who must be able to recognize potentially harmful facade problems, are also mentioned by the director.
While the penalties have garnered the most attention, Director claims that the fines are "insufficient" for the city's wealthiest residents.
"The sanctions must be so severe that building owners lose sleep over the threat of having their bank accounts emptied if they fail to comply with the law promptly," the attorney argues.
Scanlon, on the other hand, praises the balancing act of the revised Local Law 11 Contractors.
He said, " in a city with tens of thousands of buildings all requiring inspection and a limited pool of competent inspectors and contractors who can provide the requisite rigging or other access within the mandated timelines and deadlines, there is a balancing of what can be done practically." The architect asserts that "rules and laws could always go further."
Melange restoration Inc. is building repair and construction company ,we are fully equipped with the tools to get the job done! This blog is for sharing our professional experience. Subscribe for more!