NYC Local Law 11: Specific Requirements and How Harlem Property Management Can Save Boards Money - Article Banner

We work closely with New York City (NYC) buildings and boards to remain in compliance with all the city, state, and federal laws that impact the way your association is managed. As you know, without proper expertise and guidance, it’s easy to make a mistake, and those mistakes are often costly.

At Harlem Property Management, our goal is to manage your project such that your building is filed safe and violation free, while reducing expenses and keeping the community informed. We’re also here to save your board the time and frustration that is spent trying to navigate compliance.

Let’s talk about NYC Local Law 11, one of the most important requirements in New York City building management.

Our experience with managing Local Law 11 projects helps our clients choose the right architectural firms and contractors. We make sure your building is in compliance on time, and we advise the board on how to finance the work. We pride ourselves on our communication with your residents, sending weekly project progress emails with photos and schedule updates, after the weekly on-site meetings.

The bid process will ensure your building is safe and the project is completed with the quality and value you deserve. Harlem Property Management project managers will meet with the engineer weekly to supervise the work and act as a liaison to the board and residents, providing routine and detailed updates to your community.

We want to talk about that, too.

NYC Local Law 11: A Refresher

If your building in New York City is taller than six stories, you need to have the building’s façade inspected every five years. That’s the meat of Local Law 11. The inspection requirement is part of the Façade Inspection & Safety Program (FISP). It protects the condition of your building and the people who happen to pass by the building.

What will the inspectors be looking at when they come to evaluate your property? They’ll check:

  • Walls
  • Fixtures attached to the walls
  • Lights
  • Signs
  • Air conditioning units

Any object that could become loose and fall will be assessed. The inspection is meant to ensure that the walls and façade can safely support anything that’s attached to them.

A Qualified Exterior Wall Inspector (QEWI) must perform the inspection. That inspector has to be a registered architect or a professional engineer who can prove they have at least one year of relevant experience.

Do you have a qualified inspector you can call? If not, you’ll need a referral. The inspector will look at all exterior walls and appurtenances (attachments). Then, your inspection report is filed into record.

If you’re unsure whether your building is included in this law, reach out to HPM. We have years of experience with building management, and we can not only give you the information you need, but also we can help you ensure your project is handled properly from start to finish.

Choosing a Qualified Exterior Wall Inspector

Harlem Property Management can help you find a QEWI when it’s time for your building to be inspected. If you don’t already have one in mind and you’re not sure how to find one, your board can waste a lot of time and money looking for someone who has the qualifications and availability.

Our vendor relationships can be used to ensure your inspection is done correctly and on time. As your co-op or condominium property management company, we’ll be able to take this off your plate. We can help strategize on best practices and save you money. We can also protect you against inspections that deem your building unsafe.

  • Choosing a QEWI

A Qualified Exterior Wall Inspector must go through a formal certification process according to the NYC Rules and Administrative Code. To achieve certification as a QEWI inspector, the architect or engineer must be a registered professional in New York State. Three years of structural engineering experience in retaining wall design, excavation, structural design, and forensic structural engineering assessments are also required.

We have relationships with professionals who are certified, and we can help you select someone who can complete the inspection and file the necessary report. You’ll want a company that has filed reports with the NYC Department of Buildings. We work with engineering firms that specialize in the exteriors of existing structures. Our network of architects and engineers includes certified specialists who can identify and resolve deterioration in residential buildings.

  • Preparing for Your Inspection

man inspecting a kitchen drawerAs you prepare for your inspection, you’ll want to make sure your building easily passes it. Your inspector will need to gather information from you about the age of the building and any work that has been done on it since the last inspection. If the roof was repaired or the elevators were replaced, you’ll want to share the documentation on those improvements. Hopefully, you’ve kept good records.

Keep all areas of the building accessible to the inspector. Remove any debris, trash, or blockages so the inspector can easily access every part of the building. The inspector will likely take pictures, and you don’t want to clutter up the shots.

Always check exterior fixtures. They should be operational, clean, and securely installed and anchored. Look for minor details like brackets on exterior air conditioning units. Is anything loose on the light fixtures?

If you’ve partnered with a good property management company, these details will be managed well before the inspector shows up.

Keeping up with like this is not always easy. Budgeting for your inspections and for the work that’s required can take up a lot of the board’s time. Delegate this task to us, and we’ll make several recommendations on how you can finance any necessary maintenance work. We’ll also make sure we’re working with the most cost-effective inspection team we can find.

If your co-op or condominium is struggling with building management, sometimes what you really need is a full-time New York City property management company helping you stay one step ahead of each hurdle. We can help make legal compliance more manageable. Contact our team at Harlem Property Management to talk about NYC Local Law 11, saving money, or anything your board may be struggling with.

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 multifamily buildings.