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Who Is Responsible For Sidewalk Repair In Manhattan?

New York City has over 12,000 miles of sidewalks. Sidewalks that are damaged and cracked are a nuisance and can be the main reason for accidents and injuries. Smooth and clean sidewalks provide a safe place for civilians to walk, push a stroller, and use a wheelchair. The NYC Department of Transportation is dedicated to providing pedestrians with a safe space.

The real question here is who is responsible for sidewalk repair in Manhattan? Let's guide you through some amazing tips for repairing sidewalks.

Who Is Responsible For Sidewalk Repair In NYC?

Sidewalks are essential to the daily lives of New York City residents because they give pedestrians safe routes. However, it's crucial to understand who is in charge of fixing sidewalks that sustain damage or become dangerous. 

In New York City, property owners and the city government share responsibilities for fixing sidewalks. Let's examine the details and see who is responsible for what.

What are the property owner’s responsibilities?

Domestic Property:

Single-family homeowners, duplex owners, and owners of triplex residential properties are responsible for fixing the sidewalks in front of their homes. That implies that if you own a home or a small residential building, you have an obligation to keep the sidewalks in front of your property safe and in good condition.

Commercial Property:

The responsibility for Sidewalk Repair in NYC might vary for commercial properties, such as offices, apartments, and stores. It depends on the conditions stated in the contract between the landlord and the renter. It is important to examine the lease agreement to find out who is in charge of sidewalk repairs and replacements.

The City Government's Responsibility To Maintain Sidewalks

Trees and Roots:

The city government of NYC is accountable for fixing any damage to sidewalks caused by street trees and their roots. When tree roots damage a sidewalk in NYC, the Parks Department is responsible for fixing it. You can report a sidewalk that has been raised by a tree's roots to the city's Parks Department so that it can be evaluated and any necessary repairs can be made.

Sidewalks Adjacent to City-Owned Property:

If the sidewalk is close to city-owned properties, including parks, schools, or government buildings, the responsibility for repairs lies with the city government. These repairs are the responsibility of the appropriate department, such as the Parks Department or the Department of Transportation, in order to guarantee the accessibility and safety of public sidewalks.

Moreover, the NYC sidewalk program is a facility provided to residents to help them with their queries and complaints regarding sidewalk repair and maintenance.

Sidewalk Repair Process in NYC

When a sidewalk defect in New York City is identified, you need to inform the city Department of Transportation immediately. The complete process of how to request sidewalk repair services in NYC is discussed below.

Inspection: 

The Department of Transportation (DOT) or the Parks Department of the city will evaluate the reported sidewalk problem to assess the severity of the issue and determine the appropriate solution 

Repair Notice:

If the repair of sidewalks falls under the responsibility of property owners, the city might issue a notice determining the required repairs and a deadline for completion.  The property owner is responsible for fixing sidewalks in NYC within the given timeframe.

Repairs managed by the city 

If the sidewalks fall under the NYC government's responsibility, the repair will be scheduled by the appropriate department. The timeline for these repairs can vary based on workload and prioritization.

The Risk of Ignoring Sidewalk Repairs

More than ten years ago, New York City sidewalk liability was transferred from the city to private property owners. Since then, the number of lawsuits for negligence involving sidewalks has rapidly increased.

Sidewalks can become unsightly if they are neglected. Pedestrians walking on a defective sidewalk are at risk due to sidewalk trip hazards. The most effective defense, in this case, is the ability to hire the best Manhattan sidewalk repair contractors who are experienced in this field.

Let us tell you the consequences of neglecting a sidewalk in our guide. Some of them are discussed below:

Accidents and injuries

If your sidewalks are cracked or elevated, anyone walking on them might trip or fall. Similarly, larger cracks in sidewalks can be more harmful to pedestrians. Cracks that are deep and big can create trip hazards. 

Further, a damaged sidewalk might be a hazard for young children, the elderly, and those with disabilities.

Lawsuits

Lawsuits are a major problem for properties, both residential and commercial. There's a chance someone could trip and fall on your broken sidewalk, potentially resulting in serious injuries, and there's no stopping them from suing you. It is significantly less expensive to seek sidewalk crack repair than it is to file a more costly lawsuit.

Damage to the structure

Ignoring uneven sidewalks for an extended period of time might put you at risk for water invasion, structural damage, and property devaluation, in addition to the possibility of being sued for negligence on your part. It may not be a pressing problem, but it may have an effect on your home's market value if you intend to sell. Defected concrete sidewalks might have an unappealing impact on your property's curb appeal. 

Penalties for Neglected Sidewalk Repair

If property owners don't fix problems with the sidewalk within the allotted time, the city might step in and fix it. After that, the cost of the repairs plus any extra fines will be billed to the property owner.

It is important to follow the sidewalk rules set by the city government to ensure the safety of pedestrians. Regular maintenance and quick repairs enhance the community's well-being.  

The city has imposed fines on property owners who fail to fulfill their maintenance obligations in order to guarantee the prompt replacement of damaged sidewalks. The city may intervene and handle sidewalk repairs if a property owner doesn't take care of them in a timely manner. After that, the property owner will be responsible for paying the repairs' total cost as well as any further fines.

Conclusion

A well-maintained sidewalk is a responsibility shared by property owners and the NYC government. By understanding who is responsible for sidewalk repair, you can save pedestrians from major accidents and injuries.

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