City landlords have been overpaying for third-party safety inspectors for years

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A Department of Buildings safety regulation that for years has been the subject of gripes from property owners isn’t as onerous as the real estate industry originally thought. According to the Wall Street Journal, the DOB’s requirement that large buildings hire full-time safety inspectors during major façade work had been generally interpreted to mean that third-party safety managers must be hired to oversee contractors as they work. That has long been a source of frustration for landlords, who have paid thousands of dollars in fees to hire managers who have tons of downtime on the job. Recently, the DOB sought to clear up the confusion: safety managers don’t actually have to be third parties, officials told the Real Estate Board of New York. In fact, employees of the contracting companies themselves can satisfy the rule, as long as they have a license with the city. [WSJ]