DOB Announces Return of Free, No-Penalty Inspection Programs

On April 27, the DOB announced the return of two programs that will help building owners ensure the safety of their buildings without financial penalties. The two citywide initiatives — the No-Penalty Business Accessory Sign Inspection Program and the No-Penalty Deck and Retaining Wall Inspection Program — will give property owners throughout the five boroughs assurance about the condition of their properties, while providing valuable guidance on proper maintenance.

One level deeper. Weather, time, and improper installation can all cause outdoor structures to weaken and deteriorate over time. According to the DOB, it is important that property owners ensure that these structures are up to code and properly maintained. Each year, Department inspectors respond to business sign, retaining wall, and deck collapses across the five boroughs. In many cases, the DOB says the investigations determine that these costly incidents could have been prevented with proper maintenance.

By law, property owners in New York City are required to maintain their accessory business signs, decks, porches, and retaining walls in a safe and code-compliant condition at all times. The aim of these inspection programs is to provide a no-penalty service so that owners can ensure they are meeting this important legal requirement.

The bottom line. Owners can contact 311 to request a free, no-penalty inspection of any accessory business sign, deck, porch, or retaining wall on their property anytime between May 1 and June 30, 2022. Following the inspection, the DOB will notify property owners of its findings. If the DOB finds any violating conditions, the DOB will withhold issuing violations and penalties for a limited time, giving the owners opportunity to make corrective repairs and make their property safe.