HPD Finalizes Rules Concerning Gas Leak Notices, Procedures
HPD has officially adopted amendments to Administrative Code Section 27-2005, which governs procedures during suspected gas leaks and recordkeeping for smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. As a result of adopting the amendments and finalizing the proposed rule, HPD has formally adopted the requirements of Local Law 153 of 2016, the law that requires owners to notify residential tenants about proper procedures to follow in the event of a suspected gas leak. The law itself became effective as of June 4, 2017, and HPD’s new rules went into effect on Oct. 18.
Local Law 153 Requirements
Gas leaks can cause tremendous damage, and NYC owners in particular need to be mindful of their gas lines: The city contains some of the country’s oldest gas lines, making them more susceptible to leaks. The local law addresses the situation in which a tenant may suspect a gas leak. It addresses whom a tenant should call in the event of such an occurrence and when to let the gas provider know about the problem.
According to the law, the owner must notify residential tenants about proper procedures when suspecting a gas leak in two ways:
Delivering personal notices. The owner must deliver a notice detailing proper procedures in the event of a suspected gas leak to every tenant and prospective tenant of all tenant-occupied units, including multifamily homes.
Posting a notice. The owner must also post a notice containing this information in a common area of the building. This notice may be posted alongside any other existing notices and must be maintained.
The notice should instruct your tenants to call 911 immediately upon suspicion of a gas leak. Next, the tenants should notify the gas provider, whose name and emergency phone number should be included in the notice. Only then should the tenant contact the owner or manager of the building. These procedures are designed to minimize the damage caused by gas leaks and to ensure the safety of every tenant.
In adopting the rules meeting the requirements of Local Law 153, HPD additionally adopted amendments to its rules governing smoke detecting devices and carbon monoxide alarms to clarify what records owners are required to keep. The following are the key amendments:
- Owners can post a combined, single notice for required postings on suspected gas leak procedures, carbon monoxide alarms, and smoke detecting devices. Sample language for the combined posting can be found below.
- Records for the installation and maintenance of smoke detecting devices must be kept on the premises or in the business office of the managing agent or owner.
- In addition to the date of installation, you must also keep other records showing that the installed smoke detecting device meets city requirements, including the manufacturer’s suggested useful life for each device.
- Smoke detector certifications filed with HPD must be made available to HPD’s commissioner upon request. You can find the paper form to file at http://www1.nyc.gov/assets/hpd/downloads/pdf/Certificates-of-Installation.pdf.
- The occupant maximum for repaying owners on certain installed devices is now $50 for combined smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector devices.
With regard to gas leak-related rules, the following are important to note:
- Deliver notice “one time, along with the first lease or first lease renewal for such tenant or prospective tenant,” describing procedures to follow in the event of a suspected gas leak.
- Post the notice in a common area, readily visible, and in accordance with visual guidelines outlined in the law. The notice must have letters not less than three-sixteenths of an inch in height; the lettering of the notice must be in bold type and must be properly spaced to provide good legibility, and the background must be of contrasting colors. The notice must be durable and substantially secured to the common area where posted. The notice must be of metal, plastic, or decal, and lighting must be sufficient to make the notice easily legible.
- Notices must include the emergency number for the gas service provider as shown in our sample.
- Failure to post this notice may result in HPD violations.