NYC Local Law 55

New York City Local Law 55 of 2018, made effective January 1, 2019 (hereinafter referred to as “Local Law 55” or the “Law”) requires that owners of buildings with three or more apartments – or buildings of any size where a tenant has asthma – take steps to keep tenants homes free of indoor allergen hazards (including pests, vermin, mold and other conditions defined by the Law).

Local Law 55 is applicable to individual residential Cooperative Shareholders and Condominium Unit Owners where the owner is not the primary resident and rents the Unit.

The Law declares the existence of an indoor allergen hazard in any dwelling unit in a multiple dwelling to constitute a condition dangerous to health. An owner of a dwelling unit shall take reasonable measures to keep the premises free from pests and other indoor allergen hazards and from any condition conducive to indoor allergen hazards, and shall take reasonable measures to prevent the reasonably foreseeable occurrence of such a condition. The Owner shall expeditiously take reasonable measures to remediate such conditions and any underlying defect, when such underlying defect exists, consistent with §27-2017.8 and the rules promulgated pursuant to §27-2017.9.

Among other things, Local Law 55 imposes the following on owners:

  1. Requires that owners of real property cause an investigation to be made of each unit for indoor allergen hazards as defined by the Law. The investigation shall be undertaken at least once a year and more often if necessary, such as when, in the exercise of reasonable care, an owner knows or should have known of a condition that is reasonably foreseeable to cause an indoor allergen hazard, or an occupant makes a complaint concerning a condition that is likely to cause an indoor allergen hazard or requests an investigation, or where the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene ("NYCDOH") issues a notice of violation or orders the correction of a violation that is likely to cause an indoor allergen hazard.
  2. The Law requires that all leases offered to tenants or prospective tenants in such multiple dwellings to contain a notice, conspicuously set forth therein, which advises tenants of the obligations of the owner and tenant as set forth in the Law. Such notice shall be approved by the NYCDOH, and shall be in English and in the covered languages set forth in section 8-1002.
  3. The Law requires that the owner of such multiple dwelling shall provide the tenant or prospective tenant of such dwelling unit with the pamphlet developed by the NYCDOH pursuant to §17-199.7. Such pamphlet shall be made available in English and in the covered languages set forth in §8-1002.
  4. The law requires that prior to the re-occupancy of any vacant dwelling unit in a multiple dwelling, the owner shall, within such dwelling unit, remediate all visible mold and pest infestations, and any underlying defects in such dwelling unit, and thoroughly clean and vacuum all carpeting and furniture provided by such owner to incoming occupants, consistent with the work practices set out in subdivision a of section §27-2017.8 and the rules promulgated pursuant to section §27-2017.9.
  5. The Law requires that the owner shall certify in writing to the incoming tenant or occupant of a unit of a multiple dwelling, in such form as may be promulgated by the NYCDOH, that the unit is in compliance with subdivision (a) of §27-2017.5.
  6. The Law requires that the owner shall use integrated pest management measures and eliminate conditions conducive to pests, and comply with following work practices:
    • Inspect for, and physically remove pest nests, waste, and other debris by High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) vacuuming, washing surfaces, or otherwise collecting and discarding such debris;
    • Eliminate points of entry and passage for pests by repairing and sealing any holes, gaps or cracks in walls, ceilings, floors, molding, base boards, around pipes and conduits, or around and within cabinets by using sealants, plaster, cement, wood, escutcheon plates, or other durable material. Attach door sweeps to any door leading to a hallway, basement, or outside the building to reduce gaps to no more than one-quarter inch; and
    • Eliminate sources of water for pests by repairing drains, faucets, and other plumbing materials that accumulate water or leak. Remove and replace saturated materials in interior walls.