Local Law 11
Facade Inspection Safety Program​

MOA is an approved NYC Qualified Exterior Wall Inspector and can walk you through the
process to help building owners avoid violations, fines and dangerous façade liabilities.

Local Law 11

The Facade Inspection Safety Program (FISP, also known as Local Law 11) is a law set forth by a section of the NYC Administrative Code adopted by the City Council and outlined in a rule endorsed by the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB). Local Law 11 (LL11) is designed to prevent any future injuries or deaths from pieces of building facades falling onto city streets.

Under the law, building owners must hire a professional to inspect the facade in cycles (each cycle spans approximately five years). The building owner is required to hire a QEWI (1) (Qualifed Exterior Wall Inspector approved by the NYC DOB) The inspector then submit a report to the Department of Buildings. If a potential hazard is found, owners must repair the issue. If the façade is not repaired the building owner will receive violations and fines from the NYC DOB.

(1) QEWI: A Qualified Exterior Wall Inspector must be a licensed architect or professional engineer with at least seven (7) years of relevant experience per 1 RCNY §101-07 Approved Agencies. QEWIs will also have to provide detailed resumes and prove to the DOB that they have relevant experience and knowledge of NYC building codes and facade rules.

Who need to file a LL11 report?

Owners of buildings greater than six stories in height, including buildings that are six stories above a basement and buildings that are six stories plus a “penthouse” floor. The program does not apply to buildings that are six stories above a cellar.

A basement is defined as a building story that has at least one-half of its “floor to ceiling” height above curb level or the base plane.

When do I need to file a LL11 report ?

Please look at the timeline chart below to determine when you need to file. You are required to file based on the “sub-cycle you fall under (A,B or C). That is determined by the last number of the building’s tax block. If you are still unsure when you need to file, please contact MOA at 718-279-1310 or email at and we will be happy to assist.

Important Note!

As you will notice in the chart below, each sub-cycle consists of a two-year window.  You must keep in mind that even though your window to file may be two years from now, if deteriorated façade conditions are found several tasks need to follow to correct those conditions.
  • After an inspection is conducted a building owner/manager needs time to evaluate conditions that require restoration, budget the costs for those repairs, create a schedule that is agreeable with all parties and conditions involved for the restoration work (tenants, unit owners, cold weather, contractor’s schedules, material availability etc.).
  • Then you must notify occupants of the building of the pending restoration work, circulate bids to contractors and carry out the required work.
  • As your team member, we want to ensure you do not underestimate the timeframe and expose yourselves to violations , fines or budget strains.

What needs to be inspected under LL11 and how?

You must have the exterior walls, guardrails, balcony enclosures & building appurtenances inspected. Continue reading below for more information:

1. Exterior Walls

All exterior walls fronting a “public right of way”(2) are required to receive one Physical Inspection (& possibly probes) for every 60 feet of facade. The wider the facade, the more inspections (and or probes) will be required.  (see chart below).

(2)Public right-of-way” is defined as any street, avenue, roadway, or other public place or public way.

Local Law 11 9th cycle physical inspection & probe schedule


2. Guard Rails

This encompasses all items that fall under the safety category of “fall protection”.  This includes balcony, terrace and roof railings.  It also includes the components of these items such as  balusters, intermediate railings and panel fillers. 

They must be positively secured (welds, bolts or screws) against upward movement, structurally stable and code compliant.

If they are found to NOT be positively secured or code compliant they will be classified as UNSAFE and the associated area shall be vacated until the condition is made safe.

3. Balcony Enclosures

They must be positively secured (welds, bolts or screws) against upward movement, structurally stable and code compliant.

If they are found to NOT be positively secured or code compliant they will be classified as UNSAFE.

4. Building Appurtenances

These are items that are attached to the building but not part of the structural façade such as:

Window mounted air conditioners, fire escapes, flag poles, antennas, satellite dishes, signage, awnings, piping, conduit, duct brackets, dunnage etc.

If they are found to NOT be positively secured to the building they will be classified as UNSAFE.

How is the inspection performed?

Inspection Requirements:

“Physical Inspections” are inspections that are conducted from a single vertical scaffold drop (or other observation platform)  along a path from grade to the top of an exterior wall.    In addition, MOA conducts visual inspections (with the aid of binoculars) of all façade surfaces not covered under the physical inspection requirement so that no areas are overlooked.

(2) “Public right-of-way” has been defined as any street, avenue, roadway, or other public place or public way.

Required Probes:

If your building is a post war(4) building, it is likely that the exterior walls are constructed as cavity walls. Cavity Walls are defined as “an exterior wall system consisting of an exterior veneer with a backup wall whereby the exterior veneer relies on a grid of metal ties to the backup wall for lateral stability. The two layers of wall are separated by an air cavity which may or may not be filled with insulation.” The NYC DOB has had an increased focus on “cavity walls” and at a minimum, a single probe at the location of each physical inspection will be required, (every 60 feet) and there must be an adequate number of probes to determine the presence, condition, and spacing of wall ties. The probe must be inspected and photographic evidence submitted as part of the report.

Most pre-war (3) buildings are found to be constructed with mass (solid) masonry walls three bricks (wythes) deep with no cavity. Probes are not required for these wall systems.

(3) A prewar building is one built before the Second World War. While the exact years are slightly debated, it includes apartments built in the early 20th century and usually refers to buildings built between 1900 to 1939.
(4) A postwar apartment is one that was built after World War II, but before the 1990s. Compared to prewar buildings, these apartments tend to look similar to each other and have more of a “cookie cutter” type of look.

Why is the inspection required?

The objective of the LL11 report is to classify the building.  Building owners are now required to post and maintain the building’s facade condition certificate in the lobby in a manner similar to elevator certificates.

Based on the results of the Inspections , the Probes (if applicable) and the review of the previously filed LL11 report (if applicable) the QEWI shall classify the building in one of three categories:


  • Conditions do not require repair or maintenance to sustain the structural integrity of the exterior of the building and will not become unsafe during the next five years (the duration of a typical LL11 cycle).

SWARMP (Safe with a Repair and Maintenance Program)

  • Conditions are is safe at the time of inspection but require repair or maintenance during the next five years in order to prevent its deterioration into an unsafe condition. The conditions must be corrected within one inspection , prior to the recommended repair date in the FISP report, but no later than the filing deadline of the following inspection cycle.
  • Note: Although not required by the DOB, an owner can choose to Contract the QEWI to file an amended report to re-classify the building as SAFE so that SWARMP conditions filed in the LL11 will not require review by the QEWI in the following LL11 cycle.


  • Conditions that are hazardous to persons or property and must be corrected on an expedited basis. Additionally, any condition that was reported as SWARMP in a previous cycle that has not been corrected at the time of the inspection shall be reported with the DOB in the current cycle as UNSAFE and the building owner shall receive a violation from the DOB.
    • For example: Cycle 8 SWARMP conditions that have not been repaired at the time the Cycle 9 Report must be reported as UNSAFE.
  • If a report is filed as UNSAFE a building owner must carry out the following:
  1. Protect the public by installing a sidewalk shed.
  2. Correct the condition within 30 days or contract the QEWI to submit FISP2 forms to the DOB that describe the scope of work required to correct the unsafe condition, submit a schedule stating when the work shall be completed (must be less than 5 years) and submit proof that safety measures (such as a sidewalk shed) are in place.
    • These extensions are approved in 90 day increments and can be renewed for additional 90 day blocks of time until the unsafe condition is corrected.
  3. Contract the QEWI to file an amended report to re-classify the building as SAFE or SWARMP within 15 days of the condition being corrected.



SIDEWALKSHEDS are temporary structures built to protect people or property. Property owners must install a shed when constructing a building more than 40 feet high, demolishing a building more than 25 feet high — and when danger necessitates this type of protection (such as performing façade restoration work). Sidewalk sheds must be removed immediately once construction, demolition, or remediation work is complete.

Permits and Approvals

Sidewalk sheds may not be built without the Department’s prior approval and work permits. However, when there’s an immediate threat to safety, owners may build a shed and file a permit application within 24 hours.

Technical Requirements NYC Building Code §3307

  • Length: Along property line and 20 feet into adjacent properties at buildings higher than 100 feet
  • Width: 5-foot minimum and sufficient for foot traffic
  • Passageway Height: 8-foot minimum clearance
  • Lighting: Passageway must be lit by natural or artificial light at all times
  • Shed Deck Strength: At least 300 pounds per square foot (150 pounds per square foot for sheds without storage and buildings less than 100 feet high)
  • Deck Storage: Storing material on top of a shed may be illegal and is not advisable
  • Egress: Fire escapes/exits may not be blocked
  • Loading Areas: Always keep all openings for loading (at deck or street level) protected, barricaded, closed, or guarded
  • Street Signs: DOT street signs should remain visible to pedestrians and drivers
In the case of an UNSAFE classification, sidewalk sheds must remain in place until all of the following conditions are met:
  1. All unsafe conditions have been repaired and re-inspected by the QEWI.
  2. The QEWI has completed all required technical inspections/permit sign offs and has submitted them to the DOB for approval.
  3. The permit is approved by the DOB and a Letter of Completion is submitted.
  4. The QEWI submits an Amended report to the DOB Facades Unit re-classifying the building as SAFE or SWARMP.
  5. A DOB inspector then visits the site and confirms that no unsafe conditions remain.
  6. The Amended report is then stamped “accepted” by the DOB.
  7. Then the Sidewalk Shed can be removed.

If it is removed prior to these conditions being met, the owner will receive a violation from the Department of Buildings (DOB).



If a report is not filed by the building’s sub-cycle filing deadline: 
  • A Civil Penalty of $5,000 per year shall be issued the day after sub-cycle filing deadline.
  • In addition, to the penalty above, another Civil Penalty of $1,000 per month shall be issued until a LL11 report has been filed and accepted by the DOB.



  • For the 1st Year: A Civil Penalty of $1,000 per month

  • For the 2nd Year: A Civil Penalty of $1,000 per month PLUS $10 per linear foot of sidewalk shed installed per month

  • For the 3rd Year: A Civil Penalty of $1,000 per month PLUS $20 per linear foot of sidewalk shed installed per month

  • For the 4th Year: A Civil Penalty of $1,000 per month PLUS $30 per linear foot of sidewalk shed installed per month

  • For the 5th Year: A Civil Penalty of $1,000 per month PLUS $40 per linear foot of sidewalk shed installed per month

The penalties shall accumulate until all of the conditions listed below are met.

  1. unsafe conditions corrected

  2. all repairs are inspected by the Architect / Engineer

  3. The building permit is closed out with the NYC DOB

  4. An amended LL11 report is submitted to the Facades Unit

  5. The amended report is approved by the Facades Unit

  6. Then the sidewalk shed can be removed.
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