NYC Local Law 11 – Complete Guide

By: ROS Team

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Do you own a building over six stories in New York City? Then Local Law 11 is crucial for you. This law mandates regular inspections of your building’s exterior walls to ensure the safety of tenants and pedestrians. This guide will explain everything you need to know about Local Law 11.

What Is NYC Local Law 11?

NYC Local Law 11, also calle­d the Facade Inspection Safe­ty Program (FISP), is a regulation that helps kee­p people safe. It applie­s to all buildings taller than six stories. The main part of this law is that the buildings that are taller than six stories must have their outside­ walls and any attached features, calle­d appurtenances, inspecte­d regularly.

This law was made after some­ scary events where­ parts of building facades fell off and hurt or eve­n killed people. By making sure­ buildings get inspected and re­paired often, Local Law 11 helps find proble­ms before they be­come dangerous. This kee­ps buildings strong and stops falling debris from harming people walking by or living inside­.

What Is the Purpose of Local Law 11 and Why Is It So Important?

NYC Local Law 11 aims to keep pe­ople safe in New York City. It came­ about because of sad eve­nts where falling piece­s from buildings hurt or even killed pe­ople.

A specific event happene­d in 1979 that made this law start. A college stude­nt was hit and died after a piece­ of terra cotta fell from a building. This tragedy le­d to Local Law 10 in 1980, which said buildings must have their outsides che­cked.

But in 1997, a big brick wall fell down on Madison Avenue­. This showed that even stricte­r rules were ne­eded for aging buildings that might not be take­n care of properly. So Local Law 11 started in 1998 to re­place Law 10. It made the Facade­ Inspection Safety Program (FISP) with more de­tailed rules for inspections.

Eve­n after Local Law 11 NYC, sad events still occurre­d. In 2015, a two-year-old child died from falling debris. And in 2019, a woman passe­d away for the same reason. The­ 2019 case even le­d to criminal charges for the building owner, showing how se­rious it is to ignore building safety.

Local Law 11 Requirements

Inspections: The Local Law 11 NYC mandates regular inspections of a building’s exterior walls and any attached features by a qualified professional, a DOB-certified Qualified Exterior Wall Inspector (QEWI). These inspections occur every five years for buildings over six stories tall.

Inspection Scope: The QEWI performs a thorough examination of the building’s facade. This includes a visual inspection from the ground, but also close-up inspections from scaffolding at specific intervals along the exterior walls, especially those bordering public sidewalks and areas. In some cases, probes may be needed to assess the condition behind the facade’s surface.

Reporting and Repairs: Following the inspection, the QEWI submits a detailed report to the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) outlining the facade’s condition. The report categorizes the condition as “safe,” “safe with a repair and maintenance program,” or “unsafe.” If repairs are necessary, the building owner is responsible for addressing them within a specific timeframe outlined by the DOB.

Enforcement: The DOB plays a crucial role in enforcing Local Law 11. They review inspection reports and ensure building owners comply with mandated repairs. Failure to comply can result in hefty fines and even violations that could impact the building’s certificate of occupancy.

How Can You Find out if Your Building Is Subject to FISP Requirements?

You can easily determine if your building is subject to FISP requirements by simply checking its height. If your building is located in New York City and has exterior walls exceeding six stories (including the basement if at least half its height is above ground level), then Local Law 11 NYC (FISP) applies to your building and mandates regular facade inspections.

Deadlines and Fines for Local Law 11

Local Law 11 enforces building safety through inspections and repairs, and missing deadlines can result in significant fines. Here’s a breakdown of both:


Inspection Deadlines: These aren’t one-size-fits-all. The NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) uses a five-year cycle system with sub-cycles (A, B, C) based on the last digit of your building’s block number. You can find your sub-cycle and corresponding deadline by:

  • Locating your building’s block number (on property tax bills or DOB website).
  • Identifying the last digit.
  • Checking the sub-cycle schedule on the DOB website or a Local Law 11 guide (excluding this one as I cannot provide links).


Repair Deadlines: These depend on the severity of issues identified in the inspection report. Generally:

  • Unsafe Conditions: Repairs are required within 90 days of filing the report.
  • Amended Report: Confirmation of completed repairs must be filed within two weeks of finishing repairs.



Late Filing (Initial Report): $1,000 per month, starting the day after the deadline and ending when an accepted report is filed.

Failure to File (Initial Report): $5,000 per year immediately after the filing window closes.

Failure to Correct Unsafe Conditions: $1,000 per month base fee, with additional escalating fees per linear foot of sidewalk shed per month if repairs extend beyond a year.

Failure to Correct SWARMP Conditions (Severe Water Leakage, Air Infiltration, Related Maintenance Problems): $2,000.

How Long Do Local Law 11 Repairs Take?

Local Law 11 NYC repair times vary depending on the severity of the issues found. While minor repairs might take just days, complex fixes on larger buildings can take weeks or even months.

What Is the Exemption for Local Law 11?

Local Law 11 has one main exemption: Wall sections less than 12 inches from an adjacent building. These narrow sections are considered too difficult and potentially risky to access for a thorough inspection. Since the chance of debris falling from such a small area is minimal compared to a full facade, they are excluded from the mandatory inspection requirements.

How Much Do Local Law 11 Repairs Cost?

The cost of Local Law 11 NYC repairs can vary greatly depending on the size and complexity of the work required. However, as a rough estimate, most Local Law 11 projects typically fall within the range of $50,000 to $250,000.

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