Matthew Chachère Drafts New Law Protecting Tenants with Asthma
The Asthma Free Housing Act, drafted by NMIC Attorney Matthew Chachère, requires landlords to maintain safe conditions for tenants with asthma.
On January 19, 2019, the Asthma Free Housing Act went into effect in New York City. This new law, passed by the City Council in 2012, requires landlords of multiple dwellings to safely remove Indoor Allergen Hazards that can trigger asthma attacks, such as mold, rodents, and roaches. Landlords are also required to implement measures to prevent indoor health hazards, such as leaks and pathways for vermin infestation, using integrated pest management (“IPM”), a practice that relies less on toxic poisons and more on eliminating the conditions that otherwise facilitate vermin problems.
To ensure compliance with the new law, landlords are also required to initiate inspections once a year to clear their properties of indoor allergen hazards and actively respond to complaints from their tenants. The law significantly increases the severity of violations for these conditions and the penalties associated with them and enhances the City’s code enforcement responsibilities. In addition, medical providers can now contact the City to obtain housing inspections for patients with chronic asthma.
The new law was drafted by NMIC Attorney Matthew Chachère who has been a pioneer in housing law here in NYC for quite some time. In 2003 Chachere was one of the advocates who drafted Local Law 1, a law that requires landlords to be responsible for protecting their tenants’ children from the harmful exposure to lead-based paint.
The passage of the Asthma Free Housing Act is a step in the right direction for the city and is a great win for an estimated 84,000 children and 10% of Adults in NYC who suffer from asthma.
SOURCES: NYC Health Department, New York City Local Laws, NYC Housing Preservation & Development.