NYC’s Proposed New Facade Inspection Rules May Increase Costs for Co-op and Condo Owners

While not yet finalized, New York City’s Department of Buildings plans to release a stricter set of requirements for its Facade Inspection Safety Program (FISP, also known as Local Law 11), for the 9th Cycle of the law, which begins in February 2020.

These safety regulations address the condition of the facade, balconies, architectural details, etc. of every building over six stories tall. Should the proposed changes take effect, building owners can expect the scope of work and the cost of Local Law 11 inspections to increase significantly. Proposed changes include:

• More comprehensive facade examinations and more detailed reports
• Rather than the single scaffold drop currently required, the new regulations will require scaffold drops every 60 feet on each exterior wall fronting the street or any other area where the public may walk

• Probes will be required on cavity walls to ensure the safety of areas behind the facade
• Qualified Exterior Wall Inspectors (QEWI’s) must now have three years of relevant experience with buildings over six stories, rather than one, as in the past, as well as relevant experience and knowledge of NYC building codes and facade rules

• Building owners will be required to post the building’s facade condition certificate in the lobby in a manner similar to elevator certificates

Once the property has been inspected, the QEWI must submit a report rating the facade as Safe, Safe with a Repair and Maintenance Program, or Unsafe. If Unsafe conditions exist, the property must immediately install a sidewalk shed to protect the public walking past, and correct the problem within 90 days.

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The next cycle of NYC’s Local Law 11, or Facade Safety Inspection Program, begins in February, with stricter, more costly, requirements for inspecting building facades.

City Code Compliance Update

Keeping up with New York City’s ever-changing building regulations is a full-time job. That’s why our compliance department is constantly on top of new Local Laws and other safety issues that impact the properties we manage. Due to the expansion of the City’s Façade Inspection regulations, properties need to inspect and repair their exteriors on a regular basis to ensure the safety of balconies, parapets, brick, stone and other materials that overhang the sidewalks. The City’s Benchmarking program continues to expand in an effort to reduce carbon emissions throughout the five boroughs. Starting in 2020, buildings will be given “grades” from A to D, based on how energy efficient they are. These ratings may impact property values, adding to the incentive to improve energy conservation efforts in areas from lighting to heating and air conditioning.

Another new City regulation requires that all automatic elevators have “door lock monitors” installed and operational by January 1, 2020. The purpose of the monitors is to prevent elevators from operating unless the all the doors are closed on every floor of the elevator shaft. It also prevents the exterior elevator doors from opening if the elevator cab is not at that floor. The new safety requirement is designed to prevent anyone from being caught in an elevator door while the car is moving, or from falling into an open elevator shaft.

At Douglas Elliman Property Management, client safety and building compliance are of paramount importance. Your building manager is working to ensure that your property meets all City regulations. If you have any questions about building code compliance, don’t hesitate to contact your manager or our office at 212-370-9200.

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A new City regulation requires that all automatic elevators have “door lock monitors” installed and operational by January 1, 2020.

NYC’s New Climate Mobilization Act

On April 22nd, 2019 Mayor DeBlasio signed into law the Climate Mobilization Act (CMA), affecting all buildings over 25,000 square feet throughout New York City. This is the City’s third significant piece of legislation designed to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions in New York City by 80% by the year 2050. The CMA follows “plaNYC2030” in 2011 which eliminated #6 oil and spurred the oil-to-gas conversions in NYC buildings, and the “oneNYCplan” in 2015, which introduced Local Law 84 (Benchmarking) and Local Law 87 (Energy Audits and Retro-commissioning), both designed to further incentivize buildings to reduce their energy consumption and carbon emissions.

The first year of enforcement is 2025, and will be based on each building’s energy usage in 2024, compared to a citywide baseline of 2005. Most buildings will require significant capital expenditures to become compliant with these new regulations. In an effort to help building boards and owners finance these upgrades, the New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation (NYCEEC) is creating a low interest, long-term funding program that will hopefully be available to all housing sectors.

It’s imperative that all buildings begin now—if they have not already—to learn about their current energy efficiency level and to plan and begin to implement a long-term strategy of compliance in order to avoid paying fines when the enforcement period begins in 2025. Every CMA Plan should begin by reviewing the building’s LL84 Benchmarking report, which will reveal its EnergyStar score and upcoming Letter Grade, which will be issued in 2020. By verifying the parameters used in the Benchmarking report, buildings can be sure that the score is accurate; scores take into account number of units, number of bedrooms, square footage and other facts about the building, so it’s important to be sure the City has the correct information. Each building’s Energy Audit and Retrocommissioning Report also includes a series of Energy Reduction Measures, with projected savings, estimated budget, and payback period. This is a key list of where to begin to reduce energy consumption and improve the building’s score.

We will keep all of our properties apprised of the ongoing developments of the Climate Mobilization Act. The goal of reducing emissions is a worthy one, but it will certainly take time, effort and significant investment. At DEPM, we will work continuously with our building boards and owners to help meet these requirements as they continue to evolve.

For more information on this legislation, visit this link:

Climate Mobilization Act

Multifamily Solar Array

It’s imperative that all buildings begin now—if they have not already—to learn about their current energy efficiency level and to plan and begin to implement a long-term strategy of compliance in order to avoid paying fines when the enforcement period begins in 2025.

 

Emergency Preparedness

You’ll soon be receiving an informational booklet developed by the New York City Fire Department focusing on Fire and Emergency Preparedness for Apartment Building Residents and Staff. This booklet addresses everything from packing a “Go Bag” to have ready in the event of an evacuation, to fire prevention tips and weather emergencies. It also talks about safety equipment that your building must have in place, such as sprinklers, smoke detectors and fire alarms.

With natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy still fresh in the minds of New Yorkers, and current events featuring mass shootings and terror attacks all over the world, we live in a time when being prepared for the unexpected is more important than ever. At DEPM, we value the safety of our building residents and staff, as well as the properties they live in, and we work closely with all City agencies to ensure that proper equipment and strategies are in place in order to protect against potential dangers.

Emergency Booklet

The NYFD has developed this booklet outlining emergency procedures and prevention. All apartment residents should be receiving a copy in the mail.

City Code Compliance Update

Keeping up with New York City’s ever-changing building regulations is a full-time job. That’s why our compliance department is constantly on top of new Local Laws and other safety issues that impact the properties we manage. Due to the expansion of the City’s façade inspection regulations, properties need to inspect and repair their exteriors on a regular basis to ensure the safety of balconies, parapets, brick, stone and other materials that overhang the sidewalks.

The City’s Benchmarking program continues to expand in an effort to reduce carbon emissions throughout the five boroughs. Starting in 2020, buildings will be given “grades” from A to F, based on how energy efficient they are. These ratings may impact property values, adding to the incentive to improve energy conservation efforts in areas from lighting to heating and air conditioning.

Another new City regulation requires that all automatic elevators have “door lock monitors” installed and operational by January 1, 2020. The purpose of the monitors is to prevent elevators from operating unless the all the doors are closed on every floor of the elevator shaft. It also prevents the exterior elevator doors from opening if the elevator cab is not at that floor. The new safety requirement is designed to prevent anyone from being caught in an elevator door while the car is moving, or from falling into an open elevator shaft.

At Douglas Elliman Property Management, client safety and building compliance are of paramount importance. Your building manager is working to ensure that your property meets all City regulations. If you have any questions about building code compliance, don’t hesitate to contact your manager or our office at 212-370-9200.

Top of the Woolworth building

New regulations from the Department of Buildings—from façade maintenance to elevator safety—are designed to protect residents and avoid accidents.

New NYC Local Law Addresses Elevator Safety With 1/1/20 Deadline

The latest update to the NYC Department of Buildings Elevator Code requires that all automatic elevators in the City have “door lock monitors” installed and operational by January 1, 2020. The purpose of the monitors is to prevent elevators from operating unless the all the doors are closed on every floor of the elevator shaft. It also prevents the exterior elevator doors from opening if the elevator cab is not at that floor. The new safety requirement is designed to prevent anyone from being caught in an elevator door while the car is moving, or from falling into an open elevator shaft.

Depending on the type and age of the elevators in your building, the cost of this upgrade may be minimal or substantial. Elevators installed since 2009 probably already have door lock monitors in place, which may or may not be activated. If they have not been activated, the adjustment may be a relatively simple software or hardware update. If your elevators were installed prior to 2009, the fix will be more complex and considerably more expensive. Generally, the cost to install door lock monitors can run between $10,000 and $30,000 per elevator, depending on the complexity of the installation.

We are working with all our client buildings to ensure that they meet this important safety requirement within the City’s timeframe. Installations must be done by a licensed elevator service company. Permits are required, and plans must be signed off by a licensed engineer and filed with the City. The Department of Buildings must also visit each building and test every elevator before it is considered in compliance with the new law. Failure to comply can result in fines and elevator shut-downs.

At Douglas Elliman Property Management, client safety and building compliance are of paramount importance. Your building manager is working to ensure that your property  meets all City regulations. If you have any questions about the new elevator requirements, don’t hesitate to contact your manager or our office at 212-370-9200.

elevator

NYC regulations require that all automatic elevators be equipped with door lock monitors by January 1, 2020.

 

NYC to Rate Your Building’s Energy Efficiency

Under the new Local Law 33 of 2018, New York City will begin to assign letter grades to buildings rating them on their energy usage, and by 2020 that information will become public.  Under the City’s expanded “Benchmarking” regulations—set out in Local Law 133 of 2016—owners of all buildings over 25,000 square feet must report water and energy consumption annually through the City’s online portal (https://www.energystar.gov/buildings/facility-owners-and-managers/existing-buildings/use-portfolio-manager). Failure to report can carry fines of up to $2,000 per year.

The City will use the reported information to create metrics to track and compare the energy efficiency of similar buildings, and ultimately will release a rating for each property, which will be available to the public. A better rating will have a positive impact on property values, giving owners an incentive to take action to cut back on water and energy consumption, as part of the City’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% between 2005 and by 2050.

We at DEPM care deeply about energy conservation and have instituted many improvements in our client buildings, including converting boilers from oil to gas, replacing incandescent lights with energy saving LED lights, installing new windows and more. Our managers are working with all their properties to implement conservation initiatives and to prepare for the energy grades. For more information on the City’s Benchmarking program, visit https://www1.nyc.gov/site/buildings/business/benchmarking.page

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New York City will soon begin giving out letter grades to all buildings over 25,000 square feet, rating their energy efficiency. This “Benchmarking” info will become public in 2020, and could impact property values. Now’s the time to to implement energy-saving programs in your property.

Rate Your Building’s Energy Efficiency

Beginning in May, the City’s “Benchmarking” regulations will be expanded to include all
buildings over 25,000 square feet (under the earlier version of the law, buildings of less than 50,000 were not required to benchmark). As part of Local Law 133 of 2016, which expanded LL 84, owners must report water and energy consumption annually through the City’s online portal (https://www.energystar.gov/buildings/facility-owners-and-managers/existing-buildings/use-portfolio-manager). Failure to report can carry fines of up to $2000 per year. The City will use this information to create metrics to track and compare the energy efficiency of similar buildings, and ultimately will release a rating for each property, which will be available to the public.

A better rating will have a positive impact on property values, giving owners an incentive to take action to cut back on water and energy consumption, as part of the City’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% between 2005 and 2050. We at DEPM care deeply about energy conservation and have instituted many improvements in our client buildings, including converting boilers from oil to gas, replacing incandescent lights with energy saving LED lights, installing new windows and more. Our managers are working with all their properties to implement conservation initiatives in the coming year. For more information on the City’s Benchmarking program, visit https://www1.nyc.gov/site/buildings/business/benchmarking.page

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New York City’s Benchmarking program is part of the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan to reduce carbon emissions.

Mayor Passes New Smoking Policy Rule

On August 28 2017, Mayor de Blasio signed Local Law 147/2017, requiring all multi-family properties in New York City to create a smoking policy for the building. The law does not dictate the contents of the policy, leaving it up to landlords, Boards and managers to do so. Once created, the written policy must be distributed annually to all residents. Building owners must comply with this new law within one year of the enactment date. Now is the time to discuss this issue with your property manager, so that the Board has plenty of opportunity to create and distribute the smoking policy by the August 28, 2018 deadline in order to avoid fines for noncompliance.

bearded man sitting by the window and smoke cigarettes

All multi-family buildings in NYC are required to distribute a smoking policy to all residents by next August.

Co-op/Condo Tax Abatement Deadline Approaching Fast

DEPM has submitted to the NYC Dept. of Finance information on all new unit purchases that occurred in 2016 through January 5, 2017 for our co-ops and qualifying (ie: non-421a) condos. Now is the opportunity for any unit owner whose resident status has changed to primary and currently meets the requirements for the tax abatement program to update their status.
If you feel that your unit should have received the abatement in 2016 but did not, please contact your Account Executive in writing, phone or email as soon as possible and we can submit the corrected information on your behalf. The deadline for making changes to your apartment status for the 2016/17 benefits is February 15, 2017 and for 2017/18 benefits the deadline is March 31, 2017. Please visit the City’s website at nyc.gov/ccabatements for more comprehensive details on this program.
In addition, there have been some changes in the STAR abatement program. New applicants who qualify for Basic or Enhanced STAR should now register with New York State instead of applying with the NYC Dept. of Finance and will receive their STAR credit in the form of a check rather than a property tax abatement.The STAR hotline number is 518-457-2036. Or visit the City’s STAR info page at on.nyc.gov/2k9MmJZ