By: Cristina N. Hyde, JD
Earlier this year, Governor Murphy signed Assembly Bill No. 573 (A573) into law. The purpose of the new law (P.L.2022, c.139) is to streamline the construction permitting process by ensuring inspections occur within a reasonable time from the requested date. Supporters of the legislation have expressed the hope that a more efficient system of handling building code inspections will result in a more affordable housing market.
A573 is applicable to both commercial and residential properties and holds the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) responsible for oversight and enforcement. The law requires that the enforcing agency of the state be notified when construction is ready for any required inspection, in writing and at least twenty-four hours prior to the date and time requested. Upon receipt of that notice, the enforcing agency shall either perform the inspection within three business days of the requested date or come to an agreement with the requesting party as to a mutually agreeable alternative date. If neither of these two options are feasible, then the party requesting the inspection may contract with a private on-site inspection agency authorized by the DCA to conduct on-site inspections.
In addition, the new law provides that if warranted, the enforcing agency shall provide a fee reconciliation to the owner for an inspection completed by a private on-site inspection agency because of a missed inspection. A573 holds enforcing agencies accountable for establishing a process for ensuring inspections are timely performed and for submitting annual reports detailing compliance with the code. Penalties could be issued for failure to do so. Permissible inspection processes can include the use of supplemental shared services agreements with other municipalities or the use of contracted private on-site inspection agencies.
Campanella Law Office offers both residential and commercial real estate services. If you have questions about how A573 applies to your property or construction project, contact us.