Local Law 55
The Asthma-Free Housing Act puts in place new regulations for property owners and landlords in New York City. At first glance it may seem overwhelming but Maypole can help you navigate through your responsibilities and set you up to minimize any issues for the future.
What is Local Law 55?
On January 18th, 2018, New York City Council passed Local Law 55 of 2018 - the "Asthma Free Housing Act". It took effect on January 19th, 2019 and requires multiple-dwelling property owners in NYC to investigate and remove all indoor health hazards which trigger asthma, such as:
Landlords must also apply ongoing measures to ensure that their properties remain free of indoor health hazards.
Annually inspect units for indoor allergen hazards such as mice, cockroaches, rats, and mold
Provide an annual notice and fact sheet to current and prospective tenants at the time of lease signing or renewal
Underlying conditions that cause mold and attract pests must be remediated
Integrated pest management processes must be used to address pest infestation
Safe work practices must be used to remediate mold and fix causes of the mold issue
Indoor Allergen Hazard Investigations
According to Local Law 55, Landlords are now required to conduct investigations, at least annually, and provide an inspection completion form. Landlords must also take all necessary measures to keep the property free from indoor allergen hazards and pests and remediate any existing conditions. However, there are additional circumstances that may warrant additional investigations.
1. Annual Inspection
2. Occupant Complaints
3. Occupant Requests
4. DOB Issued Violation
A notice must be provided in all tenant leases outlining the new obligations and regulations under Local Law 55. The notice must be approved by the DOB and made available in multiple languages.
It can be difficult to prevent mold growth when often times the root cause of the problem is hiding and goes undetected until it is too late. Maypole has many ways where we can detect a potential problem before it becomes an actual problem. You can read more about mold and mold prevention here.
Relative Humidity should be kept below 60%
Keep an eye out for water intrusion
Ensure proper ventilation and air flow
Inspect large areas quickly
Find water intrusion early before it becomes a mold problem
Visibility behind walls, floors, and other hard-to-reach areas
Educate yourself and tenants on what to look for
Pest Management Practices
Administrative Code §27-2017.8 of Local Law 55 (2018) states that property owners are required to maintain their properties free of pests. In order to ensure that your property complies with the pest control components of Local Law 55, your buildings must be properly sealed from pests.
Inspect for and remove pest nests, waste, and other debris
The use of a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) Vacuum is necessary for proper clean-up of soiled areas
Eliminate points of entry and passage for pests by repairing and sealing holes, gaps, and/or cracks
Common points of entry are:
Areas around pipes and conduits
Remove all sources of water for pests
Repair all plumbing areas that have leaks or standing water
Violations for Noncompliance
The Department of Buildings (DOB) will be issuing violations to any landlord not compliant with the regulations of Local Law 55. Fines for violations can vary depending on the specifics of the incidence and can be as large as $10,000 per occurrence. All incidences of hazards must be corrected and a Certificate of Correction must be obtained from a licensed professional and submitted to the DOB.
If your inspection determines that mold is present, it is important that you immediately correct it to avoid any violations. A mold hazard must be assessed by a New York State (NYS) licensed Mold Assessor and remediated by separate NYS licensed Mold Remediator.
Class B & C Violation
Greater than or equal to 10 square feet of visible mold per room
Class A Violation
Less than 10 square feet of visible mold per room
Integrated pest management practices must be used to remediate the presence of pests. If a property is found to have pest infestation they will receive a violation.
Class C Violation
A dwelling or common area found to have mice, rats, and/or cockroaches
Class B Violation
All other pest infestations
It may be necessary to conduct multiple inspections per year and perform remediation when necessary. Therefore, it is very important to put effective prevention methods in place to save time and money in the long run.
Mold Assessors & Mold remediators cannot work under the same contracting firm
Residences with mold greater than or equal to 10 square feet must use a 3rd party mold assessment contractor
Mold contractors must provide the property owner with filing receipts for all documents filed
Local Law 61
When hiring a mold assessor or remediator they must be licensed with the state of New York and are required to adhere to the minimum work standards as outlined by New York State Labor Law Article 32.
Local Law 61 establishes filing requirements for mold contractors that carry out mold assessment and mold remediation for buildings that contain 3 or more dwelling units or are located on a zoning lot that contains 25,000 or more square feet of non-residential floor area, where the work to be performed involves working in project areas with 10 or more square feet of mold.