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For Immediate Release
June 21, 2011


New Yorkers are Encouraged to Call 311 to Request No Penalty, No Cost Inspections

Seasonal Changes and Age Can Cause Decks and Porches to Deteriorate, Putting Them at Risk for a Collapse

Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri today announced the start of the Department’s annual No-Penalty Deck and Porch Inspection Program, which allows New Yorkers to call 311 and request a free inspection of their decks and porches. Over time, weather and use can cause these structures to weaken and deteriorate. During the summer months, decks and porches are used more frequently, and this program gives homeowners the opportunity to ensure these structures are safe before an accident occurs. If repairs are needed, and the conditions found do not pose an immediate safety hazard, the Department will defer issuing any violations to allow property owners sufficient time to take corrective action. 

“Failing to maintain decks and porches can easily lead to an accident and cost homeowners an extraordinary amount of time, money and heartache,” said Commissioner LiMandri. “Decks and porches are a great way to enjoy the summer weather, but these structures are often neglected during the rest of the year. With the official start of summer today, we want to take the opportunity to remind all New Yorkers to examine their decks and porches for deteriorating conditions and call 311 to take advantage of our free inspection program.” 

Beginning today, June 21 through August 1, all property owners can request a free inspection of their decks and porches to ensure they are structurally sound and in compliance with all City regulations. During inspections, Department inspectors will check for structural conditions, such as cracking, rotting, failed connections and other warning signs that can lead to a potential structural failure. If dangerous conditions that pose an immediate risk to public safety are detected, the Department will take action to address the structural concerns. 

The No-Penalty Deck and Porch Inspection Program was first launched in 2010. The program is modeled after the Department’s annual No-Penalty Retaining Wall Inspection Program, which allows homeowners to request an inspection of their retaining wall without the penalty of violations. 

By law, homeowners are required to maintain their decks, porches and properties in a safe and complaint manner at all times. New Yorkers are encouraged to call 311to report non-compliant conditions or 911 to report emergencies. 

To learn more about property maintenance, visit the Department’s website at 

Contact:     Tony Sclafani/Ryan FitzGibbon (212) 566-3473
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