Who is responsible for Sidewalk Repair in NYC, the homeowner/business owner, or the city?

There are many sidewalk defects that have been observed around New York City. Sidewalks can be around your business property or at home. Installing sidewalks in NYC requires a permit from the authorities. Similarly, the authorities can issue a violation to you when the sidewalk near your property has defected. Thus is right that to conclude that you own the sidewalk that is in front of your property. Some of the defects in sidewalks include collapsed sidewalk, trip hazard, hardware trip hazard, tree roots, improper slopes and patchwork.

Parties Responsible for Sidewalk Repair

City-owned property sidewalks

NYC’S department of transportation has a role in ensuring all the sidewalks are safe for pedestrian use. In only a year, they replace more than 2 million square feet of sidewalks. Department of transportation in NYC provide you with expedited sidewalk repair.

Expedited sidewalk repair

Under this program, run by the department of transportation, the sidewalks near your property are repaired by the department. After repairs are made, the bill of the cost of repairs is sent to you. Once you have paid, there are no more inspections made on your sidewalks. However, not all properties with sidewalks in NYC are eligible for expedited sidewalk repair. Such properties include commercial properties, those which are scheduled for capital reconstruction, vaulted sidewalks, more than four residential units and different sidewalk treatment.

Special conditions

Department of transportation in NYC also repair sidewalks whose defects gave been caused by unique conditions such as;

  • Defects caused by tree roots

Under department of transportation, is department of parks and recreation. Any defect caused by tree root around your sidewalk is repaired by this department. This sis because it is illegal to cut down the trees owned by the city. You will not be charged for the repair cost of such sidewalk defects.

  • Special materials

If your sidewalk is made of special materials such as granite, slate, brick or any other non-concrete material, DOT will repair your sidewalks. They will repair such sidewalks with concrete.

  • Historic districts and landmarks

Similarly, DOT has a responsibility of repairing sidewalks near historic buildings and landmarks.

For Homeowner and business owners – Hiring a contractor

As either a home owner, you can hire a contractor (such as SidewalkRepair.NYC) to help you repair the sidewalks in front of your property. This is because, the department of transportation does not repair sidewalks near a private home ownership. Ensure you hire a contractor who is familiar with DOT’s regulations. Similarly, the contractor that you hire should be licensed. Call the number 311 to check cross check if the contractor you have hired have any pending complains from other consumers. 311 will also provide you with sidewalk construction permit which is paid for. It is charged $70 for 300 feet of your sidewalk currently. This cost covers the administrative cost of the permit together with the cost incurred in sending an officer for dismissal inspection. Also, after the contractor has done his work, you should call 311 to ask for a sidewalk violation dismissal.


Department of transport cannot repair all the sidewalks in NYC alone. Thus, it relies on the business owners and homeowners to repair the sidewalks in front of their property. However, if you are given a violation letter and fail to repair the sidewalk in 45 days, DOT repairs the sidewalk or hire a contractor. After the defects have been repaired, DOT will request the department of finance to bill you the cost it took to repair the sidewalk.

Categories: News Sidewalk Information


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