A toy bear sitting next to construction boots. They are both covered in dust. White text asks, 'Is lead dust poisoning your child?'

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Lead Poisoning: Information for Tenants

In New York City, building owners are required to identify and safely fix lead paint hazards in the apartments of young children. The law applies to your apartment if all of the following conditions are true:

  • The building was built before 1960 (or, if the owner knows that the building has lead paint, between 1960 and 1978).
  • The building has three or more apartments.
  • A child under the age of six lives in your apartment.

If your building owner does not fix peeling paint, or you think the work is not being done safely, you can file a complaint by calling 311.

Safe Work Practices for Fixing Lead Hazards

Building owners must use safe work practices and trained workers when fixing lead paint hazards or doing repair work that disturbs lead paint.

To follow safe work practices:

  • Do not dry scrape or dry sand lead paint.
  • Post warning signs around the work area.
  • Tell tenants to stay out of the work area.
  • Clean the work area with wet mops and HEPA vacuums every day and after the work is done.
  • Remove all items that can be moved from the work area.
  • Cover furniture that cannot be moved.
  • Seal floors, doors and other openings with plastic and waterproof tape.
  • Hire a professional to check lead dust levels after the clean-up is completed.

Tenants' Responsibilities

City tenants must fill out and return the Annual Notice form (PDF) [Español] that they receive each year from their building owner. This form tells your building owner if any children younger than six live in your apartment.

Tenants should also:

  • Report peeling paint to the building owner
  • Notify your building owner if you have a baby, or if a child younger than six comes to live with you during the year.
  • Wash floors, window sills, hands, toys and pacifiers often.


More Information