As per NYC Law any building that was constructed prior to January 1, 1978 is required to send out Lead Paint Notices to occupants each January. Should a child reside in the unit who is under the age of six (6) years old, the building is required to inspect that particular unit at least one (1) time per year, at any time in the year.
If you are unclear of when your building was built, you can find that information either on the Fire Safety Plan or in the Architectural / Building Description in the Offering Plan. In addition, the Certificate of Occupancy on the DOB website will have information that you are looking for (http://www.nyc.gov/buildings).
The yearly inspections of the interior of the units are looking for the following conditions:
1) Peeling Paint: Paint that is curling, cracking, scaling, flaking, blistering, chipping, chalking, or loose, so that a space or pocket of air is behind the paint or the paint does not completely adhere to the underlying surface.
2) Chewable Surfaces: Protruding interior windowsills in an apartment that would be readily accessible to a child under six (6) years old, whether or not the paint is peeling, and any other type of interior edge or protrusion in an apartment that shows evidence of being chewed or that an occupant has told the owner (management, board or employee of said building) has been mouthed or chewed by a child under the age of six (6) who lives in the building.
3) Deteriorated Surfaces: Unstable or unsound subsurfaces. A surface is deteriorated if the wood beneath is rotted or decayed or it the wood or plaster beneath it has been subject to moisture or disturbance.
4) Friction Surfaces: Any painted surface that touch or are in contact with another surface, such that when the two surfaces abrade, scrape, or bind when in relative motion. These include window frames, jambs, doors, and hinges.
5) Impact Surfaces: Any interior painted surface that shows evidence (denting, chipping, etc.) that have been damaged by repeated sudden force. These include door frames, moldings and baseboards.
Since the law states that an inspection needs to occur once per year, the onus is on the building owner to coordinate the inspection and filing of same. We are therefore going to offer our client buildings that fall into this category one of two options:
1) Have the building staff perform the initial inspection during normal working hours;
2) Hire a representative from your management company, at additional cost, if applicable, to go through the individual apartments in order to ascertain if there are any lead paint issues present.
If lead paint issues are present upon the visual inspection, the building will then need to hire an outside company to properly test for lead paint within the apartment on the samples that are suspect. If testing should come back positive, then it will need to be properly remediated.
Once an inspection has taken place, the Owner / Manager must inform the occupant of the inspection results in writing and give a copy of the inspection report.
If the occupant of the apartment should deny access to the unit, the Manager for that building must send that occupant a letter explaining the need to obtain access and why they did not get access. The letter must be sent certified or registered mail with proof of mailing from the Postal Office. A copy of the letter should be kept in the building’s files for a period of ten (10) years.
For buildings that do not comply with the Notice and Inspection requirements, they can be fined up to $1,500 for each violation. Owners can also be found guilty of a criminal misdemeanor, leading to a possible fine of up to $500 and/or imprisonment for up to six months for each violation.