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Local Law 31: What You Need To Know Now

local law 31 explainedThe New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) works to maintain the safety and health of residents by establishing standards for the physical condition of buildings. They do this by developing regulations that property owners must follow.  

When a building fails to meet these standards, HPD may issue a violation, which can result in fines and other penalties. In recent years, HPD has updated its policies and regulations to protect tenants from hazards like lead and mold.  

Whether you’re a property owner or a tenant, understanding HPD regulations is essential for maintaining safe and healthy living conditions in New York City. It can be tough to keep track of, so we’ve compiled all the latest information here so you can stay up to date. 

LEAD  

Lead Laws NYCLead is a serious concern for tenants, particularly young children, who can suffer from cognitive and developmental problems from exposure. HPD Lead Regulations are important measures to protect the well-being of tenants. Here are some of the key provisions of New York City’s lead laws: 

 

LOCAL LAW 31: LEAD REGULATIONS 

  1. Effective August 9, 2020, Local Law 31 requires the owner of a residential dwelling in a building older than 1960 to have the dwelling(s) tested for lead.  
  2. The testing must be performed by an EPA-certified inspector or risk assessor that is independent of the owner or any lead paint abatement firm. 
  3. The compliance deadline is August 9, 2025, or within one year of a child under the age of 6 residing in a dwelling unit, whichever is sooner.  
  4. The requirement extends to owners of rental dwellings in buildings built between 1960 and 1978, even if the owner is aware of lead-based paint conditions in the building.  

What else is the landlords’ responsibility? 

  • If lead-based paint is found in an apartment, landlords must take steps to address the hazard. This can include removing the paint or covering it with an encapsulating coating. 
  • Landlords must provide tenants with notice about the presence of lead-based paint in the apartment, as well as information about the health risks associated with lead poisoning.  
  • Lead-safe work practices: If a landlord needs to do work that may disturb lead-based paint, they must follow lead-safe work practices to prevent the spread of lead dust. 
  • Landlords who fail to comply with the lead laws can be fined and may face legal action.

There are a few recent updates to these HPD lead laws which are designed to further protect residents from lead hazards and ensure that building owners take appropriate steps to address lead in their properties.  

  • As of February 2021, Local Law 1 of 2004, which previously applied to only residential buildings with three or more units, now includes tenant-occupied one and two-unit buildings. This means that in a building older than 1960, the property owner must either maintain records of lead testing or presume that there is lead-based paint and follow the requirements. 
  • Under Local Law 66 of 2019, certain standards for lead were lowered.  
  • Lead-Based Paint is now defined as paint with a lead content of 0.5 mg/cm².  
  • When testing for lead-based paint, an XRF instrument with an approved Performance Characteristic Sheet must be used. The instrument is used to measure the amount of lead present on a surface, and the testing must be done when the level of lead on the surface reaches 0.5 mg/cm² or higher.  
  • Lead dust standards for floors, windowsills, and window wells were lowered to 5, 40, and 100 mcg/ft² respectively.  
  • By August 2025, Local Law 31 requires lead-based paint testing to be conducted in all residential units and documented by property owners.  
  • The penalties for non-compliance have increased from $500 per day to $2,000 per violation per day. 
  • The new laws will also establish a Lead Task Force, which will be responsible for developing recommended practices to address lead hazards in NYC.

lead law nyc

WHY TEST FOR LEAD NOW? 

As 2025 gets closer, it will become harder and more expensive to find a certified lead inspector with the approved equipment. Building owners and managers who want to avoid high fees and long wait times should consider hiring a certified lead inspector as soon as possible. Here at RTK, we offer comprehensive lead testing services that comply with the HPD laws.  

For the official laws, click here 

MOLD 

mold law nycThe latest mold violation updates were issued in 2021. Mold violations are a serious matter as exposure to mold can lead to respiratory problems, allergies, eye, nose and throat irritation, fatigue, and neurological issues. Here are some of the main provisions of HPD’s mold laws: 

  1. Landlords must inspect their buildings for mold at least once every five years. 
  2. If mold is found, landlords must remediate the mold within 30 days of receiving a violation. 
  3. Landlords must ensure that their buildings are free from conditions that promote mold growth, such as excess moisture or leaks. 
  4. Landlords must provide tenants with a notice explaining their rights and responsibilities regarding mold. 
  5. Landlords must post information about mold in common areas of the building. 
  6. Landlords must hire a licensed mold assessor to conduct a visual inspection and air sampling if mold is identified or suspected in a building. 
  7. The mold assessor must be licensed by the New York State Department of Labor and must follow industry standards for mold assessment and remediation. 
  8. It is illegal to hire the same company to do testing and remediation on the same job in New York, as it is a clear conflict of interest. 

BOOK AN INSPECTION WITH RTK 

How do you ensure that your property is following these HPD guidelines? Make sure to book a licensed inspector to assess your premises to guarantee that appropriate mold and lead precautions are being taken for your property. 

RTK is very experienced in helping building owners and landlords resolve HPD violations. With fast scheduling, comprehensive reports, licensed and highly-trained inspectors, and expedited laboratory results – we can turn a problem into a problem solved. Contact RTK at 800.392.6468 or schedule now 

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Because RTK only does testing and not remediation, results are unbiased and accurate.

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