2022 Building Code and RPAPL 881

Dan Eschenasy PE. F.SEI

Principal Forensic Engineer

A new version of the New York City Building Code becomes effective this 7th November. Will it impact the recent years’ trend of increase in the number of cases related to Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law – §881  Access to adjoining property to make improvements or repairs (RPAPL 881)?  In older areas of New York City (NYC), the building density is such that any new construction or even some alterations cannot be executed without accessing the adjoining property for inspection and installation of protective devices. As a result, the negotiations and cases are generally based on the sections prescribing the protection of adjoining property of NYC Building Code Chapter 33 Safeguards during Construction or Demolition. Even though the 2022 Building Code edition has only a limited number of changes to these Chapter 33 sections, this engineer proposes that the changes in subchapter 3306 Demolition related to temporary weather protection and building assessment may provide increased opportunities to negotiate licenses to access adjoining properties. Separately, it is most probable that additional sources for negotiations may be found in the new 1817.3 Evaluation of adjacent buildings for suitable methods of support.

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