Lead is a highly toxic metal found naturally in the environment that can cause serious bodily damage. Lead is particularly harmful to children, in whom it can cause learning and behavior problems and delay physical growth and mental development. The use of lead-based paint in residential buildings was banned in New York City in 1960.
The City's Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act (Local Law 1 of 2004) 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 is presumed to exist in a multiple dwelling unit if:
Owners of such buildings must:
Note that the provisions of Local Law 1 do not apply in a dwelling unit in a building where title 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.
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. Local Law 1 provides for an exemption from certain provisions of the law based on submission of the required testing and documentation—refer to HPD's Exemption application.
New to Lead-Based Paint issues? Explore these three resources for a thorough introduction.
Important notice about the completion of work: Please be advised that the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Orders prohibit certain companies from performing lead paint testing, lead dust sampling, lead paint and lead dust analysis or lead abatement work. Consult DOHMH's website to access a listing of these companies. Certifications for corrections of HPD violations will be rejected should one of the companies identified on DOHMH's website complete work or testing related to these violations.
Currently, HPD issues violations based on a surface testing positively for lead (order #617) and for surfaces which were not tested by HPD that are subject to the presumption in the law (order #616). Violations are also issued based on a failure to provide records requested by the Department after a lead-poisoned child is identified in the building by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) (order #618).
Options for the owner
Correct and certify the correction of the condition; File for a contestation; Request a postponement
Correct and certify the correction of the condition
Provide requested records within 45 days of demand. You can contact the Lead-Based Paint Inspection Unit’s COTA Unit at (212) 863-5501, select option 5, for more details regarding the dismissal of this violation.
If the correction period has not expired, the owner should correct and certify:
Once all of this documentation is submitted to and accepted as on time and valid by HPD, a reinspection will be performed by HPD before a lead-based paint violation can be dismissed.
An owner can request up to two postponements of the date of correction if he/she is having trouble scheduling the work for the reasons listed on the postponement request form. Review these documents carefully before applying for a postponement.
Contestations will be considered for presumed lead-based paint violations (order #616). The owner can contest the violation following the instructions on the Contestation form only if:
Lead-based paint violations have been issued under several different lead laws over the past 30 years. The laws required different methods of correction and different documentation to support the correction. If the deadline to correct and certify such a violation has passed, the owner cannot certify correction. The next steps that the owner must take will depend on whether an inspection has already been conducted by HPD. For more instructions on how to proceed for your particular building, go to HPDONLINE. Enter your building address and select Overdue Lead-Based Paint Violations from the left hand column. You will be presented with the list of violations that are open and next steps, including information on which of the below affidavits is required to be submitted.
For further questions, contact a Borough Service Center or call the Lead Hotline at (212) 863-5501.
Within four months after the close of the first fiscal year, HPD provides to the City Council a written report on HPD's implementation of Local Law 1 during the preceding year. The report includes an analysis of the program, a detailed statement of revenue and expenditures, and a statistical section designed to provide a detailed explanation of HPD's enforcement, including information about complaints, inspections, violations, certification of corrections, and work orders.
Documents for Owners
Funding Available to Owners to Treat Lead-based Paint Hazards
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 dust clearance tests upon completion. Any such work performed after August 2, 2004 is subject to the requirements under Local Law 1.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair and Painting 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 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.
HPD's rules permit the use of encapsulants, i.e. materials that are applied over lead-based paint to seal the paint to a surface and prevent the release of paint chips or dust. See the NYS DOH website for details.