Facade Inspection and Safety Program (FISP) - Cycle 8
The New York City Department of Buildings requires that owners of buildings greater than 6 stories must have their buildings' exterior walls and appurtenances inspected once every 5 years and file a technical report (Critical Examination) to the Department of Buildings's Local Law Enforcement Unit.
Cycle 8 of the Facade Inspection and Safety Program (formerly Local Law 11) will run from February 21, 2015 - February 21, 2020. If you are the owner or managing agent for an applicable property, please feel free to contact us to develop your FISP plan and schedule an inspection.
A building's subcycle depends on the last digit of the tax block - please see diagram at right to determine when the report must be filed.
- Subcycle A | Filing Period: 2/21/2015 - 2/20/2017
- Subcycle B | Filing Period: 2/21/2016 - 2/21/2018
- Subcycle C | Filing Period: 2/21/2017 - 2/20/2019
Owners who fail to file a technical report within the specific filing period are subject to a monthly late penalty until an acceptable report is approved by the Department of Buildings.
Buildings greater than 6 stories in height must be inspected by a Qualified Exterior Wall Inspector (QEWI) and classified as:
- Safe - the facade has no problems and is in good condition
- Safe With a Repair and Maintenance Program (SWARMP) - the facade is safe, but requires repairs/maintenance
- Unsafe - the facade has problems/defects that pose a threat to public safety.
If unsafe conditions are found, owners must file the report as 'Unsafe' and immediately install public safety measures, such as a sidewalk shed, construction fence, etc.
Unsafe conditions must be corrected within 30 days and an amended report filed with the Department within 15 days of completing the repairs.
If the conditions will take longer than 30 days to repair, the QEWI may submit an extension of time request and the DOB may grant an extension of up to 90 days, provided that the premises have been secured by the installation of a shed, fence, etc. Further extensions will only be considered with evidence of unforeseen circumstances or if the nature of the repairs require more than 90 days. There is a filing fee for each extension request, and extensions will need to be renewed until the Unsafe conditions are corrected.
Reports must be submitted to the Department of Buildings along with the fees as listed below:
- Initial Report - $265
- Amended/Subsequent Report - $100
- Extension of Time Request (90 days) - $135 each
Violations & Penalties
There are penalties for failing to submit reports by the end of the appropriate subcycle filing period and for failure to correct unsafe conditions within the 30-day period, if a request has not been filed for an extension of time. The penalties are listed below:
- Failure to File - $1,000 per year
- Late Filing - $250 per month
- Failure to correct unsafe conditions - $1,000 per month
For new construction above 6 stories, the owner has 5 years from the date that a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO) has been issued to file the first FISP initial report. This means that any new building that received its TCO between February 21, 2010 - February 20, 2014 may need to file its first report during Cycle 8, depending on the last digit of the tax lot.
Balconies & Railings
During Cycle 7, the Department of Buildings issued a new requirement that balcony railings and guards must be inspected for structural stability and code compliance, if not already included in the initial Cycle 7 inspection and report.
In Cycle 8, balcony railings and guards will be incorporated into the FISP inspection and technical report.
Window-Mount A/C Units Installation
Window-mount air conditioning units will be included in the FISP inspection performed by the QEWI, and will therefore be classified as Safe or Unsafe. The Department of Buildings issues guidelines for installing window-mount air conditioning units, including:
- Support the unit from underneath with metal brackets or firmly fasten it from inside with angles - any supporting hardware should be structurally fastened to the building (not the window frames) and must be strong enough for the weight of the AC unit.
- Install the AC unit so it remains in place when the window is opened, or affix it so that the window cannot be opened accidentally.
- Do not use loose objects, such as wood blocking, bricks, telephone books, or gypsum board to support the leveling of an AC unit.