Anyone owning or managing a building in Harlem or throughout New York City expects to deal with inspections and reports and constant safety updates. It can often seem overwhelming, however, especially if you find yourself with a building that lingers somewhere between safe and unsafe.
That’s likely going to be a SWARMP designation – Safe with a Repair and Maintenance Program. What does that mean? What have the inspectors found? What are you supposed to do?
Harlem Property Management is the authority on co-op and condo building management in Upper Manhattan and a member of the Real Estate Board of New York. We specialize in managing condos, co-ops, and multi-family buildings up to 99 units. We are experts in project management for Local Law 11 FISP compliance and work with some of the top architectural and engineering firms in NYC.
If you’re in a condo association or a co-op with a SWARMP designation, you’re going to need to plan for specific repairs before the next inspection.
In a condo association or a co-op, you’re going to need to plan for specific repairs before the next inspection.
Let’s take a look at what that means for your residential community and your building.
What SWARMP Means for New York City Residential Buildings
Buildings in New York City higher than six stories must be inspected every five years. During that inspection, the building can be reported as safe, which is pretty easy to understand, or unsafe, which requires repairs within 30 days.
The SWARMP designation often feels like a grey area for association members and building managers. You’re not deemed unsafe and you don’t have to make any immediate repairs. But, you’re not entirely off the hook like you would be with a safe designation.
When your inspector classifies your building as Safe with a Repair and Maintenance Program (SWARMP), it means that the condition of a building wall, or any appurtenances, are safe at the time of inspection. HOWEVER, repairs or general maintenance will be required within the next five years in order to prevent that building from deteriorating to the point that it becomes unsafe.
The Qualified Exterior Wall Inspector (QEWI) who provides this classification must also give you a specific date shown as month and year by which you must correct the condition. You’ll have to document the work that was done before that date.
Making the Required Repairs in your Building
Building management and owners will be responsible for correcting the conditions identified by the QEWI by the date listed on the inspection report.
Make sure you’re working with licensed and insured vendors who understand the requirements and can provide high quality, well-documented work within the timeframe necessary. You don’t want to wait until days before the SWARMP Recommended Repair Date contained in your Critical Examination Report. You want to plan for unexpected delays or complications. Talk to the board, let the community know about the findings and your intended actions. Then, get the work completed.
What you really don’t want is to have your building downgraded from SWARMP to Unsafe. The goal of making these recommended repairs and staying up to date with all the other preventative maintenance issues that should be on your radar is to elevate your building to a Safe classification at the next scheduled inspection.
We know that these inspections can be confusing and even finding a QEWI can be difficult. That’s why a property management company experienced in association management and building management is so important. We can take the stress and the confusion off your plate. This is what we do best.
Contact us at Harlem Property Management, whether you’re proactively looking for resources or you’ve found yourself with a SWARMP designation and you’re not sure what to do about it.