Local Law 55: Indoor Allergen Hazard Management
HPD’s latest rule goes into effect on Wednesday, January 16th. These rules clarify Local Law 55 of 2018 requirements to investigate and remediate indoor allergen hazards, including mold, cockroaches, mice, and rats.
Per HPD, “Effective January 19th, 2019… an owner of a multiple dwelling(s) will be required to annually inspect units for indoor allergen hazards, such as mice, cockroaches, rats, and mold.”
Here’s a breakdown of components in the new law:
Required Notification to Tenants
All leases offered to tenants or prospected tenants “must contain a notice, prominently displayed within, which advises tenants of the obligations of the owner…” Full text of the required notice can be seen in the Final Enacted Rules (Appendix A – in English and Spanish), below in the resource box. Additionally, owners must provide tenants or prospective tenants a DOHMH pamphlet informing them of these requirements.
Postpone Correction Due Dates
Owners may apply for postponement of HPD violation correction due dates “within the five days preceding the date set for correction of such violation.”
- Postponements for hazardous violations that become immediately hazardous violations per the new law (mold-related – section 27-2017.3a(4) or (5))
- Granting of postponements are at the sole discretion of HPD. They will be limited to circumstances where owners show that they have “taken prompt action to correct the violation but that full correction cannot be completed within the time provided because of serious technical difficulty, inability to obtain necessary materials, funds or labor, or inability to gain access to the dwelling unit where the violation exists, or other such portion of the building necessary to make the required repair.”
The new rule outlines what’s required in postponement applications, and will respond to applications in writing. Granted postponements “shall not exceed fourteen days from the initial date set for correction.”
Owners must use integrated pest management procedures, outlined in the new law, to address and remediate infestations, as well as specific work practices to assess and correct indoor mold hazards (including underlying defects, like leaks). There are detailed requirements and guidelines for each allergen type in the Rules. Separately, violation certifications for each must now include affidavits stating that work practices were properly performed in accordance with these rules.