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To Inspect or Not: City vs. State

In August 2018, New York State amended Title 19 of the New York Code, Rules, and Regulations, requiring periodic inspection of parking garages. According to the new regulations, an initial assessment of parking garages must be conducted by a deadline determined by the date the building was built. After that assessment, parking garages need to be inspected every three years. The first inspection deadline is October 1, 2019, for buildings built before 1984.

Reading in September that your garage needs to be inspected sometime in the next month would normally be cause for panic – if New York City did anything by the book. A service notice published by the Department of Buildings (DOB) in June explains that despite the state’s insistence that every municipality in the state has to base its local garage inspection regulations on the new state rules, all buildings within the five boroughs are exempt from the state building code – including the new garage regulations – because New York City maintains its own building code.

At some point, the city’s DOB will release its own new garage-inspection guidelines. According to a DOB spokesperson, the code revision process includes extensive review by a committee of industry members, partner agencies, and DOB technical and administrative staff. The DOB anticipates that the new codes will be submitted to the New York City Council for adoption into law sometime in 2020.

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