NEW YORK CITY — The Department of Buildings (DOB) reports the launch of the eighth annual “No-Penalty Retaining Wall Inspection Program.” Under the program, residents can request a free inspection of their retaining wall without the threat of receiving a violation if the wall is found to be in poor condition, according to DOB Commissioner Robert LiMandri.
Inspections can be requested between now and June 30 by calling 311.
“Property owners have a responsibility to make sure every corner of their property is safe, and this program reminds them to pay special attention to their retaining wall,” said LiMandri. “Retaining walls can deteriorate over time, and starting this week, property owners can ask for a free, no-penalty inspection so they can have the opportunity to fix any structural conditions before it’s too late. Homeowners can save themselves time, money and heartache by taking the proper precautions and calling for an inspection.”
Retaining walls are designed to hold back soil that would otherwise move to a more natural slope or incline if the wall were not in place. Over time, these walls can deteriorate as the seasons change and temperatures rise and fall, posing a safety risk to nearby buildings. By law, property owners are required to maintain these walls and perform periodic inspections of them every five years, and submit reports on their condition to the Department of Buildings.
If repairs are needed, the department will defer issuing violations to allow property owners time to take corrective action. However, if dangerous conditions are found, the department will take immediate action to make sure the unsafe conditions are corrected as soon as possible.
Since launching the program in 2005, the DOB has performed more than 400 retaining wall inspections as part of the program.
May 8, 2012 - 9:34am