Local Law II/98 (FISP) Inspections

Local Law 11/98, now referred to as the Façade Inspection Safety Program (FISP), requires that all exterior facades over 6 stories be inspected every 5 years by a Qualified Exterior Wall Inspector (QEWI). Merritt Engineering have assisted hundreds of Building Owners throughout New York City in fulfilling the critical responsibility of maintaining their building’s façade in “safe” condition under Local Law 11/98.

Our team begins with a hands-on, non-destructive inspection to determine the existing conditions of all exterior walls and identify potential safety hazards. We then prepare and file a written report with the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB), detailing any necessary repair strategies.

Our reports and repair programs not only comply with DOB requirements, but are also useful tools for planning and budgeting purposes by allowing Building Owners to prioritize the required repairs and avoid costly emergency restorations down the line.

As your Local Law experts, we will assist you to:

  • Identify the current status of your façade
  • Coordinate filings with the DOB
  • Develop an appropriate repair strategy
  • Implement the required repair program
  • Avoid costly violations and emergency repairs

To learn more about the NYC DOB Façade Inspection Safety Program (FISP) click here

Filing windows for 9th Cycle Reports

Sub-Cycle Last Digit of Bldg Block # 9th Cycle Filing Window
A 4, 5, 6, 9 Feb 21, 2020 – Feb 21, 2022
B 0, 7, 8 Feb 21, 2021 – Feb 21, 2023
C 1, 2, 3 Feb 21, 2022 – Feb 21, 2024


9th Cycle Local Law 11 FISP Changes:

*Façade Status will need to be posted and maintained in the building lobby to alert occupants of the exterior wall status (Safe, SWARMP or Unsafe).

*Close-up inspections will need to be performed at intervals of not more than 60 feet fronting each public right-of-way.

*Probe investigations will be required to determine presence and condition of wall ties in cavity walls. This requirement will begin with the 9th Cycle and every odd cycle thereafter.

*Photographic evidence of close-up inspections in progress will need to be submitted with the completed Local Law 11 (FISP) reports.

*New Penalties will be issued for failure to perform corrective work, including SWARMP repairs.

*Qualified Exterior Wall Inspectors (QEWI) must be licensed architects or professional engineers with at least 3 years of relevant experience to ensure inspectors have appropriate knowledge of exterior walls and how to conduct inspections of those walls.

For more information, please click here.


New FISP Amendments Released by DOB:

The NYC DOB has released a new rule, which went into effect on November 12, 2021, and outlines amendments in order to clarify FISP requirements.


  • Requirements for buildings that do not front a public right-of-way.
  • If a building does not front a public right-of-way, physical examinations are to be performed at a representative sample of the facade elevations with a minimum of one examination per building.
  • “6-story” buildings could qualify under Local Law 11/98.
  • If your building is considered to be 6 stories per the Certificate of Occupancy, but contains a cellar whereby at least half of the cellar height is above grade at any exterior wall, your building would be required to file under Local Law 11/98 and all walls would be subject to inspection.
  • Some flexibility offered to buildings who missed their prior FISP Report.
  • Starting in Cycle 10, Owners who did not file their FISP Report for the previous cycle may file a report prior to the start of their designated filing window provided that all applicable civil penalties are paid at the time of filing.

For more information, read the full notice of adoption of the new rule.


Balcony Enclosures – What you need to know

Many owners and renters enclose their balconies with open screening, metal and glass panels, and various other types of light wall assemblies without first obtaining a New York City Work Permit. There are various Buildings Department rules and Building Code sections that must be adhered to so that a balcony enclosure is properly constructed and is, and will remain, structurally stable.

What work requires a Work Permit? What work does not?


      • Weather-resistant balcony enclosures, such as windows and solid walls.
      • Open screen enclosures 40 feet or more above grade (effective October 2, 2011).
      • Any alteration made to an enclosure. An alteration is defined in the NYC Building Code as “…any construction, addition, change of use or occupancy, or renovation to a building or structure in existence.”


      • Open screen balcony enclosures on balconies less than 40 feet above grade.
      • A free standing screen not anchored or fastened to any building surface or component.
      • Minor alterations and ordinary repairs that are exempt from permits are defined as any work that does not in any way affect health or the fire or structural safety of the building.

Helpful Links:

Here are some helpful links to guide you through the various facets of facade filings: