SSE specializes in Retaining Wall Inspections.

Owners of properties with a retaining wall that faces a public right-of-way and has any portion of the wall extending ten feet or higher must have their retaining wall inspected every five years by a Qualified Retaining Wall Inspector (QRWI) and a condition assessment report of the inspection submitted by the QRWI within 60 days of completing the inspection. We have a team of experts who are Qualified Retaining Wall Inspectors (QRWI). We can respond quickly to your inspection needs.

Wall Rating

All retaining walls must be given one of four ratings by the QRWI:

  • Safe
  • Safe with Minor Repairs or Maintenance
  • Safe with Repairs and/ or Engineering Monitoring
  • Unsafe

Steps for Compliance

  1. 1.  Identify if your wall must be inspected – If you have an entire retaining wall or part of a retaining wall on your property and it is ten feet or higher at any point on your property and faces a public right-of-way, you must have the wall inspected by a QRWI, and an assessment report submitted by the QRWI. Owners that share a retaining wall with one or more neighbors may hire one QRWI to inspect the wall.

  2. 2. QRWI conducts inspection – The QRWI conducts the inspection and determines rating of wall.

  3. 3. QRWI submits condition assessment report and filing fees – Within 60 days after completing the assessment the QRWI must submit a report to the Department that meets, at a minimum, the criteria spelled out in RCNY §103-09. Filing fees are also payable for each property owner for whom the report is being submitted (a wall with multiple owners may have one report submitted for all of the owners, but filing fees must be paid by each individual owner).

Are you in violation?

2021 is the midway point of the second cycle of New York City’s mandated retaining wall inspections. This year owners, and managers of properties in Staten Island must have their retaining walls inspected with a report filed by December 31, 2021. If this is not done owners risk fines and civil penalties from the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB). SSE can help! Contact us at or call 631.393.6020 to schedule your inspection


Borough 2nd Cycle Dates
The Bronx January 1, 2019 - December 31, 2019
Manhattan January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2020
Staten Island January 1, 2021 - December 31, 2021
Queens January 1, 2022 - December 31, 2022
Brooklyn January 1, 2023 - December 31, 2023

Additional Information:

For more information about the NYC Department of Buildings Retaining Wall Compliance Laws refer to this link to NYC Buildings Site