New York, NY —
The Buildings Department is prohibiting residents at 16 buildings across the city from using their balconies, and that number could go up. That's because inspections so far have found the balconies to be unsafe.
Gibran Baydoun moved into a building on East 39th Street in Manhattan just yesterday. He knew about the balcony ban but signed a lease anyway.
"We're hoping that it's taken care of pretty soon, but it's also nice to know that they are going through enough screenings to make sure it's safe," Baydoun says.
Baydoun lives in the building where a 24-year-old plummeted to his death in March after his balcony railing gave way.
Ever since the accident, city officials have looked at similar buildings and issued orders when the balconies failed inspections. Buildings Department spokesman Tony Sclafani says the probe is continuing and more warnings could be issued.
It's up to the buildings owners, he says, to get the balconies repaired and re-inspected before the vacate orders can be lifted.