The Meter is Running
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AUTHORGiovanni Puerta, Account Executive
PAGE #pp. 82-83
THE BIG PICTURE
You’re a new board member and you hear your board speaking about Local Law 11. You say to yourself “What is this? Just another filing that New York City mandates?” Yes, it is that – but Local Law 11 is probably the most important filing that any building over six stories in New York City has to file. It is a law that requires an inspection every five years of the building’s facade to determine that there are no loose bricks or mortar that could fall off and kill someone. The law was put into place after a young woman was killed by a falling piece of masonry on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. (Why it only applies to buildings over six stories is a mystery, although some cynics claim that at the time of the law’s passage, the city was avoiding making repairs because it was the largest owner of New York properties under six stories, which it had acquired in tax-related foreclosures.)
To determine whether your property is under the statute, you must check with the Department of Buildings. The law goes in cycles, and it’s imperative that you complete an inspection and repairs within your allotted cycle. If it’s your cycle, the board must hire an engineer or architect and begin the work. The engineer/architect is going to serve as the liaison for the board and the community to ensure that the work is done correctly.
As a new member of the board, you should be aware that there are new laws springing up all the time, and old laws are constantly being updated. You should determine which new laws are in effect and when filing deadlines will be coming up in the near future.
It’s important to do the filing within the proper year. If you don’t, your situation could become very costly with fines. So hiring the proper engineer who’s going to oversee the work and make sure that the filings are done on time and to the code will help the board get the job done successfully. Having the right people to handle these projects is crucial. When it comes to compliance, both veteran and novice board members should be on top of the situation.