Summer Compliance Adjustments & Opportunities

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If you’re thinking about local law inspections and requirements across your portfolio, now is the perfect time for a status check and an update. The New York Department of Buildings (DOB) has introduced two summer programs for maintaining specific local law compliance. Here are the details:

2019 Benchmarking Penalty
Owners who were unable to submit their 2019 Benchmarking data by the initial May 1 deadline will not receive a violation or fine so long as they submit a “fully compliant report” by August 1. This applies to all buildings on the Covered Buildings List. As a reminder, the number of properties required to submit Local Law 84 Benchmarking reports expanded last year and now includes buildings starting at 25,000 square feet (instead of the previous 50,000 square feet cutoff).

Owners who didn’t submit by May 1 will receive a reminder in the form of a Notice of Non-Submission. If a fully compliant report is not submitted by August 1, owners “will be subject to violations for each quarter that they have been non-compliant.” That’s potentially $1,000 in fines, not counting an additional $1,000 for future checkpoints in November 2020 and February 2021.

If you haven’t already submitted benchmarking data for the 2019 calendar year, take advantage of this penalty extension and file your report as soon as possible — and definitely before August 1.

Façade Amnesty Program in Effect
The DOB is also letting owners who failed to file Cycle 8 Façade Inspection & Safety Program (FISP) reports (resulting in a status of No Report Filed/NRF) administratively close Cycle 8 by filing a Cycle 9 FISP report. The amnesty period will be effective from June through August (no specific dates are listed on the Service Notice, so the sooner you submit, the better).

These owners will be allowed to file within the Cycle 9 amnesty period regardless of their assigned Cycle 9 sub cycle filing period. That means you can (and should) submit your FISP report this summer, even if you would have originally submitted a Cycle 9 Report during the later years allocated to sub cycles B and C.

The Amnesty Program is only available for owners who failed to file Cycle 8 Reports. So if you already submitted Cycle 8, you’ll have to wait until your designated Cycle 9 sub cycle to submit a new FISP report. Sub cycles are split into two-year periods and based on the last digit of your building’s block number. Sub cycle A (filing February 21, 2022) includes blocks 4, 5, 6 and 9. If your building falls in this group, you should be putting together your Cycle 9 inspection plans. This is especially true since façade inspection requirements have been updated as of this February, and completing inspections may take more time.

While we’ve covered the new rules in depth on the SiteCompli blog, you should discuss the same with your qualified exterior wall inspector and their team. It’s important to understand the changes and how they’ll impact the inspection process overall.

More Changes?
As of now, we haven’t gotten any official changes to boiler, elevator or the brand-new gas piping inspection requirements. The benchmarking update was announced about a week in advance of the annual due date, so it’s possible adjustments for these filings (if there are any at all) may not come until later in 2020.

That said, staying in the know is key. More local law changes are likely, especially as the city begins to reopen and agencies adjust their policies. For now, check these off your summer to-do list and avoid any additional risk or enforcement.

These tips were compiled from updates originally seen on the SiteCompli blog.

Kristen Hariton
53 West 23rd Street
New York, NY 10010

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