The City's Lead Paint Hazard Reduction Law Local Law 1 of 2004 ("Local Law 1") is a comprehensive law concerning the prevention of childhood lead poisoning through the remediation of lead paint hazards in housing. Lead is a highly toxic metal found naturally in the environment that can cause serious damage to the human body. The most common sources of lead are paint and dust (some foods and spices, medicines, clay pots and dishes, cosmetics, and painted toys from other countries can contain lead). Lead is particularly harmful to children, in whom it can cause learning and behavior problems, and delay physical growth and mental development. Local Law 1 requires landlords to identify and remediate lead-based paint hazards in the apartments of young children using trained workers and safe work practices. Lead-based paint hazards are presumed to exist if:
- The building was built before 1960 (or between 1960 and 1978 if the owner knows that there is lead-based paint)
- The building has three or more apartments
- A child under the age of six lives in the apartment
Peeling Paint Complaints: Tenants should report peeling paint in an apartment to the landlord. If the landlord does not fix peeling paint, tenants should call 311. If a tenant calls 311 to report peeling paint in a building with three or more units and there is a child under six, HPD will attempt to schedule an inspection to test the peeling paint for lead. Violations will be issued if a lead-based paint hazard is identified and the landlord will be advised on how to correct the condition safely. If the landlord fails to address the lead-based paint condition, HPD will attempt to do so and bill the landlord for the work. If you are a tenant in a one-family or two-family home, have a child under six and have peeling paint conditions, you can also call 311or go to 311ONLINE and the Health Department will respond.
Unsafe Work Complaint: The Health Department responds to all complaints of unsafe work practices creating a potential lead dust hazard, call 311 to report unsafe work.
The Health Department recommends that all tenants with young children:
- Wash floors, window sills, hands, toys, and pacifiers often
- Remind your doctor to test your children for lead poisoning at ages one and two
To learn more about:
- How to prevent lead poisoning, visit the DOHMH website at this link
- Where to get your children tested for lead poisoning, call 311 and ask for the Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
- Pregnancy and Lead Poisoning, visit the DOHMH website at this link
Tenants are required to:
- Fill out and return the Annual Notice regarding lead-based paint that you receive from the landlord
- Notify the landlord in writing if a child under six comes to live with you or if you have a baby
Local Law 1 requires owners of such buildings to inquire whether children under the age of six are in residence and to visually inspect the apartments and common areas for lead hazards once a year. There are specific requirements for maintaining records about these inspections and inspections that are required upon turnover of the apartment. Penalties can be imposed if these records are not maintained properly. Property owners can hire qualified companies to conduct testing to determine whether there is lead-based paint in their buildings and work proactively to reduce the liability associated with lead-based paint. Lead-based paint violations must be repaired using safe work practices, within the timeframes specified by law and HPD rules. Further information on the requirements regarding lead-based paint and sample documents can be found under “L” at nyc.gov/hpd, site index A-Z; and details about the availability of online and instructor-led training classes on Local Law 1 can be found at nyc.gov/html/hpd/html/buyers/courses.shtml
For more information on free training on lead-safe home repair, please call the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene at (212) 226-5323. For brochures on low interest loans and grants to help owners fix lead paint and other health and safety repairs, call 311.
You can check for open lead-based paint violations on your property by using HPDONLINE. You can find more information on how to remove lead-based paint violations from HPD's records by reviewing the information on Dismissal Requests for older violations and Violation Certification for recently issued violations.
The law imposes a number of property owner responsibilities, including:
- Making apartments lead safe on turnover.
- Upon lease-up, agreement to lease, or commencement of occupancy, owners must give the new occupant a form inquiring if a child under age six will reside in the unit. Owners must also certify on this form that they have performed the work required to be done in vacant units prior to reoccupancy. Additionally, owners must provide a pamphlet informing occupants about lead.
- Owners must include a notice about owner responsibilities under the law with each lease and must provide a pamphlet informing occupants about lead. There is also a requirement that owners physically inspect units whose occupants do not respond to determine if there is a child under six residing in the unit.
- Owners must investigate units where children under six reside as well as common areas in the property to find peeling paint, chewable surfaces, deteriorated subsurface, and friction and impact surfaces. This investigation must be conducted at least annually, or more often if the owner knows about a condition that may cause a lead hazard, or the occupant complains about such a condition.
- Remediation of lead hazards must be done using safe work practices and trained workers. For more information on work practices, read the Guide to Local Law #1 of 2004 Work Practices.
- Using safe work practices for all repairs and renovations performed in a unit where a child under six resides and in the common areas of buildings with such units.
- Local Law #1 also provides that any lead violations issued by HPD under the former law are valid. If you are an owner of a building that has outstanding lead violations, such violations are subject to correction only under the standards set forth in Local Law 1.
Note that the provisions of Local Law 1 do not apply where title to a multiple dwelling unit is held by a cooperative or condominium and the shareholder of record or his or her family occupies the unit. The law does however apply to cooperative or condominium units occupied by a tenant or subtenant.
Documents for Owners
For a list of EPA certified firms and accredited training providers, Please click here.
Contractor Certification Requirements
All construction undertaken on or after August 2, 2004 for renovation work in dwelling units where a child under six resides and in the common areas of buildings with such units must be done by trained workers.
Repairs and Renovations
Owners should also be aware that under the law, not only lead violations, but also any repairs or renovations that are performed in dwelling units with children under age six must be undertaken by trained workers and followed by lead-contaminated dust clearance tests upon completion. Any such work performed after August 2, 2004 is subject to the requirements under Local Law 1. For information on types of training and certified training providers, go to the Website of the US Environmental Protection Agency at www.epa.gov/lead
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair Program Rule
The EPA has issued rules to protect against lead-based paint hazards that can occur during renovations, repair and painting activities. These rules apply in New York City and are in addition to the repair and renovation requirements of Local Law 1. The rules require certain workers to be trained and renovation firms to be EPA-certified to perform certain work in pre-1978 target housing. The effective date of the rules is April 22, 2010. For more information on the EPA renovation rules, and for a list of training providers, go to the EPA website www.epa.gov/lead
Funding Available to Owners to Treat Lead-based Paint Hazards
- HPD's rules permit the use of encapsulants that have been approved by the New York State Department of Health. For complete details and the most current updates Please click here to access the New York State Department of Health.