For Immediate Release: June 10, 2024
CONTACT:, (212) 393-2126


Homeowners and Small Business Owners Are Encouraged to Call 311 For Information on How to Request a Free Inspection For Their Property

New York, NY – The Department of Buildings announced today, with the first day of summer right around the corner, the return of the annual No-Penalty Inspection Program, which offers free inspections for homeowners, business owners, and small landlords in New York City. This citywide initiative allows New Yorkers to call 311 starting on the first day of summer to schedule a free, no-penalty visual inspection of various areas of their property, in order to get an expert opinion on parts of the building in need of repair, or for guidance on how to comply with applicable legal building requirements. This program helps owners plan for needed repairs to ensure that the structures and equipment on their properties are in good condition, and to help prevent the development of potentially hazardous conditions. In an effort to offer more New Yorkers access to this long running program, DOB added building facades and boilers to our No-Penalty Inspection Program for the first-time last year, and these additional inspection areas are available in this year’s program again.

“Back by popular demand, DOB’s No-Penalty Inspection Program can help put building owners on the right path for home or business repairs,” said Buildings Commissioner Jimmy Oddo. “Proper maintenance doesn’t just help ensure that a property is kept in a safe condition, it helps owners save money in the long run by avoiding violations and costly structural failures. By offering free, no-risk inspections, we are providing an easy way for building owners to understand the issues currently impacting their properties, and how to get them fixed.”

"The return of the No-Penalty Inspection Program is welcome news to the 200,000 small business owners here in NYC," said Small Business Services Commissioner Kevin D. Kim. "This program cuts red tape by allowing business owners to bring their properties up to code without bureaucratic headaches. I want to thank Commissioner Jimmy Oddo and the entire team at the Department of Buildings for their partnership as we work together to ensure that business owners can start, operate, and grow their businesses with ease and safety."

This inspection program will run from the first day of Summer, Thursday, June 20, 2024, through Wednesday, July 31, 2024, and is an effort to improve public safety by promoting proper building maintenance in neighborhoods across the five boroughs. Starting on June 20th, members of the public can 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

Staff at 311 will then connect members of the public to the appropriate unit at DOB to schedule a field visit with a city inspector. During a scheduled inspection our inspectors will be available to discuss any additional building concerns that 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 or safety issues, our inspectors will not issue violations that carry associated penalties for a limited time. Instead our inspectors will provide guidance on how to correct the conditions, and giving the owners the opportunity to make corrective repairs that will ensure their property is safe.

Each year, department inspectors respond to serious incidents involving facades, boilers, private elevators, business signs, retaining walls and decks across the city, and some of these incidents 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 like boilers, must similarly be maintained to prevent potentially hazardous mechanical failures. Owners may not know if these devices in their homes are registered with the department, as is 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 their property. Since 2005, when the annual No-Penalty Inspection Program for Decks and Retaining Walls was first launched, 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.