For Immediate Release
June 13, 2017


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 June 18th and July 29th, 2017, which allows New Yorkers to request a free inspection of their decks, porches, and retaining walls. Over time, weather and shifting soil can cause these structures to weaken, deteriorate, or lean. DOB’s 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.

“Proper maintenance in and around the home is critical to preventing accidents. DOB’s program gives New Yorkers the opportunity to ensure their properties are structurally safe,” said Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler. “Pushing off inspections or repairs of decks, porches or retaining walls could lead to property damage and excessive repair costs in the long run.”

Beginning June 18th, property owners can contact 311 to request a free inspection of their decks, porches, or retaining walls to ensure they are structurally sound and in compliance with all City regulations. 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. Building upon this success, the Deck and Porch Inspection Programs were created in 2010. The Department has performed over 750 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 contact 311 to report any unsafe conditions.


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