Local law 11
Unmaintained building facades endanger pedestrians and other buildings. Falling masonry may kill passersby or harm nearby property.
Property managers have long known the dangers of deteriorating walls. The NYC authorities didn’t intervene until 1980 when terracotta killed a student on the Upper West Side. Local Law 10 was passed to avoid future wall collapses.
LL10 was adequate, but incidents in the late 1990s forced NYC to reexamine the law’s criteria. As a result, local Law 11, a more robust version of LL10, is the Façade Inspection and Safety Program (FIPS).
The following NYC’s rigorous environmental conditions may accelerate the corrosion of building walls.
- Summer and winter temperatures vary.
- Vehicle and building pollution.
- Sea’s closeness and salt’s corrosiveness.
What are Local Laws 11?
Local Law 11 requires six-story NYC buildings to have their walls assessed every five years. A Professional Engineer or Architect with at least one year of relevant experience must do the inspection.
Lighting fixtures, signs, guardrails, windows, air conditioners, and other wall-mounted items that might fall must also be inspected. NYC has around 12,000 LL11-inspected structures.
Properties are given inspection dates. Suppose a property missed the deadline. Still submit the report, but face fines of $250 every month until a piece of information is submitted.
The building owner must quickly deploy safety measures like construction barriers, regardless of the time needed to rectify a dangerous situation. It reduces pedestrian danger until the problem is fixed.
After fixing dangerous problems, the inspector updates the report.
If an element is Safe with a Repair and Maintenance Program (SWARMP), it poses no immediate risk but might become dangerous if neglected.
SWARMP conditions must be corrected before the next inspection cycle. Two successive SWARMP inspection cycles are dangerous. Since September 2016, the authority has handled all LL11 documents online. The website may be used to pay fines and monitor building compliance. LL11 compliance requires establishing an account.
Ways to Escape Local law 11 Violation
Owners and board members often find inspections stressful. Follow a few preventive actions to maintain your building in good shape before an inspector visits.
- Provide the building’s age, expansions, and changes.
- Record all exterior repairs and permits. Include illustrations wherever available.
- Ensure building accessibility.
- Clean rooftops, terraces, balconies, and fire escapes.
- Randomly remove things from entrances and exits.
- Ensure all outside fittings are adequately fastened.
- Make sure all window A/C units have an external bracket or internal angle.
On inspection day, have the superintendent show the inspector around. It will help them better grasp the specialist’s point of view, ask questions, and offer relevant building condition information to all board members to guarantee that future needs are fulfilled.