Skip to main content

Retaining Wall Inspections Required by NYC DOB Mandate

retaining wall, inspection, NYC DOB, QRWI

All property owners with a retaining wall ten feet or higher and faces a public right-of-way must have an inspection completed and a report issued to the NYC DOB every five years. The inspection must be performed by a NYC DOB Approved Qualified Retaining Wall Inspector (QRWI).

The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) Retaining Wall mandate, 1 RCNY 103-09 is currently in Cycle 2 which runs from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2023.

O&S has Professional Engineers on staff who are QRWI certified and registered to perform the required condition assessment of the retaining wall and file a “Report of condition assessment” defined by the DOB as:

“a written report filed with the Department by a qualified retaining wall inspector clearly documenting the conditions noted during the assessment; areas that need repair, maintenance, or engineering monitoring; a final wall rating; and any other requirements mandated by this rule”

Cycles are staggered into 5 sub-cycles. For retaining walls in the:
Bronx1/1/2019 to 12/31/2019
Manhattan1/1/2020 to 12/31/2020
Staten Island1/1/2021 to 12/31/2021
Queens1/1/2022 to 12/31/2022
Brooklyn1/1/2023 to 12/31/2023

Civil penalties are $250 per month for late filing and $1,000 per year for failure to file. Failure to correct an unsafe condition carries a $1,000 per month (prorated daily) violation and fine until corrected. All repairs to correct an unsafe condition must be completed within one year of filing a report of an unsafe condition with the DOB.

Similar to the FISP Local Law 11 inspection mandate, retaining wall inspection reports must certify if the condition of the wall is either Safe, Safe with Minor Repairs or Maintenance, Safe with Repairs and/or Engineer Monitoring, or Unsafe. Detailed requirements for assessing, reporting, and filing the condition of the walls are available here:

Contact O&S today to file a Retaining Wall Inspection report for your building with a certified QRWI: (646) 736-0699 or

1 RCNY §103-09 Retaining Wall Inspections, Filing Requirements, Penalties and Waivers:

Read more Here: