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September 22, 2020   •   2 minute read

Local Law 31 Amends Lead Remediation Requirements. Here’s What That Means.

New York City, USA

New York City buildings continue to be a proving ground for stringent laws and regulations meant to protect tenants and guests. The latest example: Local Law 31, a 2020 provision meant to further mitigate exposure to lead paint.

Effective August 9, 2020, Local Law 31 (LL31) requires building owners to meet strict new standards for lead mitigation. Compliance will be monitored by the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).

 

How is LL31 different from previous lead poisoning prevention laws?

This new regulation amends Local Law 1, New York’s Lead Poisoning Prevention Law. Here’s how LL31 amends existing lead regulations:

  • Building owners/managers must inspect for lead within five years (by August 9, 2025) or within one year if a child under the age of 6 resides in the unit—whichever is sooner.
    • 2019’s Local Law 64 defines the term “resides” as routinely spending 10 or more hours per week in a unit. This includes children who either live in a unit or just visit for that period of time.
  • Inspections must be conducted by a third-party Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-certified inspector licensed to review for specified lead protocols. These can alternatively be administered by EPA-certified risk assessors or any firm that does lead-based paint remediation.
  • Home improvement contractors (HICs) must show evidence they are EPA-certified and prepared to follow lead-based safety standards.
  • All dwelling units must have X-ray fluorescence (XRF) lead inspections performed.
  • All records of LL1 and LL31 inspections, annual lead paint mailers, and remediation work must be kept on hand and made available to HPD upon request.

 

Which properties are affected?

Local Law 31 applies to the following dwellings:

  • Rental properties, including co-op and condominium unit owners holding leases
  • Multi-unit properties erected on or after January 1, 1960 and before January 1, 1978
  • Units where a child under the age of 6 resides (spends 10 hours or more per week) if the owner has knowledge of the presence of lead-based paint in either the units themselves or in common areas

 

Which areas should be inspected?

Owners/managers must do visual inspections at least once a year. These must include every surface in every room of each unit, including the interiors of closets and cabinets. Owners must similarly call for a visual inspection of any peeling paint, chewable surfaces, deteriorating subsurfaces, friction surfaces, and impact surfaces.

Under certain circumstances, owners must inspect units more than once a year, including:

  • When an owner knows or should have known of a condition that is reasonably foreseeable to cause a lead-based paint hazard
  • When an occupant makes a complaint concerning a condition that is likely to cause a lead-based paint hazard
  • When an occupant requests an inspection
  • When the HPD issues a notice of violation or orders the correction of a violation that is likely to cause a lead-based paint hazard

 

What should you do if a resident does not provide access?

If the owner of a unit claims they’re unable to access said unit for an inspection, they must include in their records a written statement describing their attempts to gain access. The statement requires:

  • Proof of written notice to the tenant, delivered by certified or registered mail or by first- class mail with proof of mailing informing the tenant of the necessity to access the unit for inspection
  • A statement explaining why access could not be gained

These records must be kept for a period of 10 years from either the date of the completion of inspection or the last attempt to gain access to the unit. Furthermore, owners must make these records available by request to tenants.

 

What if you’re performing a renovation?

If you are either renovating a unit or performing any capital projects in common areas, your general contractor must hold an HIC license and EPA certification.

 

Any other questions?

 

If you have any further questions about Local Law 31 or any other NYC building regulations, Vitralogy has a compliance expert available to provide answers and address any related concerns. Contact us today for more information.

 

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