For Immediate Release:
June 21, 2023
(212) 393-2126


New Yorkers are encouraged to call 311 to request a no-penalty, no-cost inspection for their property

New York, NY – The Department of Buildings announced today the return of the annual No-Penalty Inspection Program, with expanded free inspection offerings for homeowners, business owners, and landlords in New York City. This citywide initiative allows New Yorkers to proactively call 311 to request a free, no-penalty visual inspection of various areas of their property, to get an expert opinion on potential repair projects and guidance on applicable legal requirements. This program helps owners ensure that these structures and equipment on their properties are in good condition, with no visibly apparent hazardous conditions. For the first year ever, DOB has added building facades, boilers, and private elevators to our No-Penalty Inspection Program, in an effort to offer more New Yorkers access to this long running program. During the scheduled inspection our inspectors will also be available to discuss any additional building concerns that the property owners may have, and direct them on how to obtain additional assistance from the Department. Following the property inspection, we will notify property owners of our findings. If we do find any violating conditions, our inspectors will not issue violations that carry associated penalties for a limited time, instead providing guidance on how to correct the conditions, and giving the owners the opportunity to make corrective repairs to make their property safe.

Starting today, members of the public can now call 311 to request their free, no-penalty inspections of any of the following building structures and equipment:

  • Decks and Patios
  • Retaining Walls
  • Facades for Buildings Under 6 Stories in Height
  • Business Signs
  • Unregistered Boilers
  • Unregistered Private Elevator Devices

“The expanded Summer No-Penalty Inspection Program is a perfect example of our administration’s commitment to cutting red tape and prioritizing the safety of New Yorkers,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “With this program, we are proactively addressing issues and working collaboratively to provide support to building owners who want to do things the right way. And this expansion will allow us to keep more New Yorkers safe.”

“Regular building maintenance is key to preventing costly accidents, and is essential to keeping New York families safe,” said Buildings Commissioner Jimmy Oddo. “DOB’s No-Penalty Inspection Program is perfect for the building owner who wants to make home or business repairs, but don’t know how to get started. Upon request, we will send an experienced DOB inspector to help you get a better understanding of the condition of your property, and the steps needed to keep them in good repair.”

This inspection program starts the first day of Summer, Wednesday, June 21, 2023, and is running through July 31, 2023. This annual program is designed to promote proper building maintenance in neighborhoods across the five boroughs, in an effort to improve public safety. Each year, Department inspectors respond to serious incidents involving facades, boilers, private elevators, business signs, retaining walls and decks across the five boroughs, which result in serious injuries and even deaths. Weather, time, and improper installation can cause building facades and outdoor structures to weaken and deteriorate over time. It is important that property owners ensure that these structures are up to code and properly maintained to prevent a potential collapse. Private elevators and building appliances used for heating such as boilers, must similarly be maintained to prevent potentially hazardous mechanical failures. Owners may not know that these devices in their homes are not registered with the Department, as required by law. Properly registering these devices is the first step to ensuring that they are up to code, and not posing a danger to building occupants.

By law, property owners in New York City are required to maintain their properties in a safe and code-compliant condition at all times, which includes maintaining all building structures and device equipment on the property. Since the annual No-Penalty Inspection Program for Decks and Retaining Walls was first launched by the Department in 2005, the Department has performed thousands of these no-penalty inspections, helping save homeowners both time and money by identifying potential safety issues and providing guidance on how to bring properties up to Code. The Department first added accessory business signs to the program in 2020, offering this service to business owners at no cost and without risk of penalty. This year’s new addition of free inspections of facades, unregistered boilers, and unregistered private elevators is the largest expansion of the program to date.