The New York City Council enacted
Local Law 1 of 2004 to ensure that small children not
be exposed in their homes to the danger of ingesting lead-based
paint where paint chips or paint dust may be present due
to poorly maintained painted surfaces and friction surfaces.
At the time, CNYC advocated long and hard to have the
City Council recognize the home owner status of shareholders
and unit owners in cooperatives and condominiums. As a
result, Local Law 1 contains two important paragraphs,
the first acknowledging that co-op and condo owners are
responsible for the interior of their apartments, and
the second stating that owner-occupied units are not subject
to the inspection requirements enumerated below, which
must be done in all units that are rented. Naturally,
cooperatives and condominiums must employ lead-safe practices
when work is done in any public areas.
Because Local Law 1 functions
on the presumption that any building built prior to the
outlawing of lead paint in New York City may contain lead-based
paint, many lead-free buildings may currently be complying
with its requirements.
In the article that follows,
environmental consultant Josh Sarett of ALC Environmental
Inc. explains the process for obtaining permanent exemption
of an apartment or an entire building from any requirements
of Local Law 1 by proving that it is lead free. This testing
process can also provide great reassurance to building
One caveat, however:
Federal law requires that whatever information is known
about lead-based paint be disclosed to potential purchasers.
For that reason, seek an exemption only when you are quite
sure that there is no lead-based paint present in the
area in question.
Local Law 1 of 2004 became effective in August of that
year. It applies to all multiple dwellings of more than
three units in New York City constructed prior to 1960
and many constructed prior to 1973. It assumes the presence
of lead-based paint in these buildings. Compliance with
Local Law 1 of 2004 can be expensive and time consuming.
All owners of properties built before 1960, where a child
under seven years old resides in a rented unit, must comply
with this law. This represents a large percentage of the
buildings in the five boroughs of New York City.
The most burdensome requirements of the law include: