In last year’s report I revealed Tips 1 and 2. Here are the next two tips:

Tip 3:

Recent changes to city building regulations now require residential building owners to install apartment identification and directional markings and signs.

Effective March 30, 2018, the New York City Fire Department adopted a rule that requires each apartment door to have reflective or photo-luminescent signs at each entrance and on every apartment door. These signs should be installed low to the ground and no higher than 12 inches from the floor.

This requirement is for any residential building with more than two units and is meant to assist firefighters, first responders, and building occupants to identify apartment numbers in smokey conditions that obscure the regular apartment door number signs.

Tip 4:

Every building in New York City is required to color code their sprinkler/standpipe pipes. Local Law 58/09, which went into effect on March 3, 2010, requires certain pipes to be painted a particular color based on their function. All exposed, vertical sprinkler pipes must be painted red, combination standpipe/sprinkler valve handles must be painted yellow, and dedicated sprinkler system valves must be painted green. Owners must hire a licensed plumber, fire suppression contractor, or a holder of a FDNY Certificate of Fitness, to certify the painting was done correctly. A copy of this certificate must be kept on the premises at all times.

The deadline for compliance was June 2, 2010, so if you haven’t already complied, you can receive a violation starting at $500. However, it’s never too late to comply, so be sure to have your building pipes painted and certified today! 

Tip 1: Boiler Inspections & Access

Although only buildings with six or more apartments are required to have annual boiler inspections, building owners with three or more apartments are required to make certain the boiler room is accessible to ew York City building inspectors and the fire department. If the boiler room is locked, a key must be kept at the premises at all times. Two signs (either metal or plastic) must be posted on the boiler room door and in the building lobby, stating who has the key and where the person can be found.

Buildings with more than six units are required to have the boiler inspected annually. Check with your insurance agent. Your policy may already include the inspection in your premium. You will then only need to pay the filing fee, and the inspection company will handle the inspection and file the paperwork for you.

Tip 2: Violations

Unfortunately, violations are a hidden cost of owning real estate in New York City. But be careful not to pay extra, unnece ary fines. There are two parts you must comply with in order to satisfy and cure the violation. First, you musr actually perform the work and demonstrate compliance. Take pictures and have copies of im·oices arnilable if you hired a contractor. You must write the specific steps you took to cure and complete the Certificate of Correction.

The second part of the violation is the fine. Most violations offer a compliance date. If you demonstrate that you have complied with the violation, you generally will not have to pay a fine if you return the Certificate of Correction on or before the compliance date found on the violation. It’s best to send all paperwork via certified mail so you have a record of the date received. fake sure you allow sufficient delivery time for them to receive your paperwork on or before the compliance date. Depending on the amount of the fine, it may be worth personally delivering the Certificate of Correction to the proper department, so you receive the actual date received stamp.

NYC is not very forgiving. If you miss the compliance date, you are most certain to receive a fine. Violations that do not demonstrate compliance and have the fine component handled are filed as liens on the building and will rear their ugly heads when you refinance or sell.