Are Co-Op and Condominium Owners Facing a Sprinkler Mandate?

By Mandy Moy

A recently proposed local law in New York City created a lot of buzz around the block—especially for co-ops and condominiums. The proposed law, Int. No. 1146-B, is a local law to amend an administrative code of the City of New York. It would require an installation of automatic sprinklers in all apartment units in residential buildings that are 40 feet or more in height. The installation is to be completed on or before December 31, 2029.

Between now and December 31, 2029, owners of such buildings would be required to file interim reports describing their plan for compliance one, five and nine years after the effective date of the law—or until they have filed a final report indicating full compliance.

A virtual hearing about the proposed bill was held on December 2, 2020. During the meeting, a number of building owners and representatives of building owners in New York City voiced their concerns. Many are still suffering from the loss of revenues brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, even as they continue to cover the substantial costs of maintaining their properties. Co-ops and condominium owners fear that the system installation costs associated with this new law will add a significant financial burden. Coupled with other local laws that are already in place (like Local Law 11 on exterior walls and façade) and rising property taxes, real estate owners in New York City are facing increased financial pressure.

The proposed bill is currently laid over, or postponed, by the Committee on Housing and Buildings. More information and status of the proposed bill can be found on the website of The New York City Council. Marks Paneth’s Real Estate Group will continue to monitor developments and keep you informed as we receive any updates on the bill.

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