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XRF Lead Paint Testing Local Law 31

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XRF Lead Paint Testing Local Law 31

Local Law 31 of 2020 in New York City has brought in fresh lead inspection mandates that landlords and building proprietors must adhere to, under the oversight of the NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD).

One of the key stipulations is that owners of pre-1960 residential buildings must arrange for certified inspections for lead-based paint in all living spaces and communal areas by August 9, 2020.

To steer clear of expensive penalties stemming from New York City’s updated lead paint regulations, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the specifics of Local Law 31 of 2020.

What is Local Law 31 of 2020?

A property owner must use an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certified inspector or risk assessor, independent of the owner or any firm hired to perform lead-based paint remediation, to test for the presence of lead-based paint (at a standard of 0.5 mg/cm2) in a dwelling unit or common area of a building built prior to 1960  by August 9, 2025 or within one year, for a dwelling unit in which a child under the age of 6 routinely spends 10 or more hours per week in such dwelling unit  (whichever is sooner). This requirement must also be met if the rental building was built between 1960 and 1978 and the owner has actual knowledge of lead-based paint.

Requirements under Local law 31

  • Local law 31 of 2020 requires owners to test all rental units and common areas built prior to 1960 (as well as for buildings built between 1960 and 1978 with known lead based paint) by August 9, 2025
  • If a child under 6 comes to reside in a unit, the test must be done within 1 year or by the August 2025 deadline, whichever is sooner.
  • The property owner must use an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certified inspector or risk assessor, independent of the owner or any firm hired to perform lead based paint remediation, to test for the presence of lead based paint (at a standard of 0.5 mg/cm2.

Failure to comply can levy fines up to $250 per day up to $10,000 in civil penalties.


What type of buildings does local law 31 apply too:

  • Any rental dwellings building built prior to 1960 including single family, multi family, condo and co-op apartments.
  • Any units that are occupied by the owners are exempt


Lead free Exemptions

What are lead-based paint hazards?

A lead-based paint hazard exists when there is peeling or disturbed paint on a surface in a building built before 1960 in an apartment where a child under six routinely spends 10 or more hours (“resides”) unless the surfaces have all been tested and there is less than 0.5 mg/cms2 of lead in the paint.  Lead-based paint hazards include:

  • Dust from paint, including dust created when doors and windows stick or rub together
  • Peeling or damaged paint
  • Painted surfaces, such as windowsills, that have been chewed on by children

Be proactive in Preventing lead based paint hazards

In all dwellings built before January 1, 1960:

  • Find out if a child under 6 lives there or regularly spends 10 or more hours per week there (“resides”)
  • Complete the annual notice and annual walk through searching for peeling or chipping paint
  • Whenever tenant moves out, complete required lead based paint removal work before the new tenant moves in (Turnover)
  • Hire certified contractors who will use safe work practices
  • After work is completed perform third party dust wipe testing

Make Records Ready to Share

  • Records of the testing must be maintained for 10 years. HPD has created a sample for for an owner to document that the testing was properly completed, view here.
  • HPD, or other agencies, may audit or request these records
  • If the building is sold, the seller must provide the records to the buyer.
  • Recommended – keep all of your lead based paint records well organized in one place for easy access. If you choose to keep digital records, make sure all info is visible when printed.

Apartment Turnover rules: Notable features

  • Required regardless of child under 6:

Turnover work must happen every time there is a change in tenant, regardless of whether a child under 6 has or will reside in that unit.

  • Beyond Deteriorated Paint:

As the first turnover in a unit, owners must address certain high-risk surfaces, even if the paint is not deteriorated.

What are lead-based paint hazards – Source

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