City Council Passes Additional Lead Paint Laws
Automatic audits of self-inspections, mandated abatement, and a new inspection program are on deck.
In the last issue, we reported on two lead-related bills aimed at closing loopholes around lead paint enforcement (see City Council Passes Lead-Related Legislation). The City Council approved the two bills and sent them to Mayor Adams in July. The mayor recently returned the bills unsigned (but not vetoed), which means they have become law. As a result, city inspectors will soon perform more thorough lead paint inspections and report on owners who try to contest their results.
Shortly after passing the two lead-related bills, the City Council passed three more lead paint-related bills aimed at eliminating lead-paint hazards in New York City. These are currently on the mayor’s desk for his signature. We’ll go over this most recent package of lead-paint legislation. If these become law, they will go into effect in September 2024, and it’s likely HPD will propose interim rules to clarify some of the requirements.
Intro. 5-A requires owners to produce records of self-inspections, including the annual notice, and records of any measures taken during the immediately previous year to abate lead-based paint hazards whenever a violation has been issued by HPD. The records would also include x-ray fluorescence analysis after Aug. 1, 2025. In other words, if HPD inspectors finds peeling lead paint, there will be an automatic audit of the owner’s self-inspection records.
In addition, the bill establishes a process for owners to correct violations for the keeping or producing of records for 10 years. Building owners who receive a violation for recordkeeping can correct the violation by submitting a violation dismissal request form with the required 10 years of records. Alternatively, the owner may submit a violation dismissal request form with documentation demonstrating the owner’s recordkeeping for at least three consecutive years and, upon HPD finding this documentation sufficient, the owner must pay $1,000 for each year for which the documentation is not submitted. The law is intended to go into effect Sept. 1, 2024.
Mandatory Lead Abatement on Friction Surfaces
Intro. 6-A deals with lead-paint abatement work that’s currently required upon apartment turnover. With this bill, owners must permanently abate lead paint on friction surfaces such as windows and doors in all applicable rental units with children under 6 years old by July 1, 2027. This means, in some cases, abatement work would be required to be performed while tenants are still occupying the unit.
Owners who fail to perform this work are subject to a Class C violation and are required to produce appropriate records for the immediately previous year. If the occupant of the dwelling unit must temporarily relocate to safely perform the remediation work prior to turnover, but refuses to relocate, the owner may submit documentation to HPD to show its good faith effort to comply with the requirement and be exempt from this requirement upon HPD approval. Upon turnover of the unit, the owner would still be required to perform the required turnover remediation work. This law is expected to go into effect Sept. 1, 2024.
Lead Paint Inspections for Selected Buildings
Intro. 750-A creates an inspection program requiring HPD to identify at least 200 residential buildings annually that may pose lead exposure risks to children who reside there and proactively inspect the buildings for lead-based paint violations.
Despite the city having extensive data on the buildings where children are most likely to be poisoned by lead, an audit by the New York City Comptroller found that inspections occur only as the result of tenant complaints, and many tenants are reluctant to complain, fearing potential retaliation. This law’s intention is to develop a program for proactive inspections of high-risk buildings even if there are no tenant complaints. This law’s effective date is one year after becoming law, which most likely will be in early September 2024.