For Immediate Release
April 27, 2016


New Yorkers are encouraged to call 311 to request no penalty, no cost inspections

New York, NY – Today, Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler announced the start of the Department’s annual No-Penalty Deck and Retaining Wall Inspection Program, a citywide initiative running between May 15th to June 25th, which allows New Yorkers to request a free inspection of their decks, porches, and retaining walls. Over time, weather and shifting of soil can cause these structures to weaken, deteriorate or lean. This program gives homeowners the opportunity to ensure these structures are safe before a dangerous deck accident or costly retaining wall failure occurs. If repairs are needed, and the conditions found do not pose an immediate safety hazard to property owners, the Department will withhold issuing any violations to allow property owners sufficient time to make corrective repairs.

“The Department has already seen a number of deck and retaining wall failures this year, and this program provides the opportunity for homeowners to ensure their property is structurally sound,” said Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler. “Failing to maintain decks, porches or retaining walls can result in accidents, damage to buildings, and excessive repair costs for homeowners.”

Beginning May 15th, property owners can request a free inspection of their decks, porches, or retaining walls to ensure they are structurally sound and in compliance with all City regulations by calling 311. During the assessment, inspectors will check for potentially dangerous conditions, such as cracking, rotting, bulging, leaning and other warning signs that can lead to potential structural failure.

The No-Penalty Retaining Wall Inspection Program was first launched in 2005, and later building upon the success of the initiative, the Deck and Porch Inspection Program was created in 2010. The Department has performed over 500 inspections since the launch of these initiatives, preventing many structural failures and costly repairs for homeowners. By law, homeowners are required to maintain their decks, porches, and retaining walls in a safe and code compliant manner at all times. New Yorkers are encouraged to call 311 to report non-compliant conditions.


Contact: Alexander Schnell (212) 393-2126
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