WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE CURRENT LAW (LOCAL LAW # 38)?
- Seeks to limit legal obligation that landlords ensure apartments are safe for children
- Limits lead hazards only to peeling lead paint - landlords have no duty to take action to prevent poisoning from lead dust,
chewable surfaces, or abrasion (painted windows or doors opening and closing). Children have no protection from lead dust!
- Lead paint violations - the most dangerous - are now the most difficult to enforce!
- Allows violations to remain as long as 220 days from the date of a tenant's complaint.
- Landlords gain immunity from penalties for violations or claims for injuries simply by denying the tenant told them about lead
- Ignores the need to correct building problems, such as water leaks, that cause lead paint to peel.
- The landlord's responsibility to determine whether a young child is present in an apartment, and thus in need of protection, is
modeled on the old window guard law - which failed!
- Shifts the burden from landlords to tenants to know about lead paint hazards in the dwelling. Fails to give tenants notice of all
their rights and obligations
- Guts the pre-existing Department of Health safety rules for lead paint repairs (which were based on federally approved and
- Does not require trained or certified workers to remove lead hazards and violations
- Encourages quick and dirty work practices over safe ones existing under the Health Code. No penalties for non-compliance!
- Ignores lead paint hazards in common areas of the building, such as stairways.
- Fails to require any dust clearance tests after peeling lead paint is scraped off of walls or ceilings!
- Requires only limited dust clearance tests for windows, doors, and wood trim - and fails even to require that the results be
reported to the City or the tenant. Also, the tests do not have to be conducted by an independent contractor -- the landlord can do
- Seeks to reduce or eliminate the ability of a lead poisoned child to bring a civil action against a negligent landlord, depriving such
children of their rights and removing an important incentive for landlords to take their obligations seriously.
- Eliminates the mandatory deadlines for the City to correct lead paint hazards in one-to two-family homes of already lead
poisoned children where landlords fail to do so.
- Fails to require the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to inquire about the presence of young children
whenever it inspects an apartment and to inspect for lead paint hazards if such children are present.
- Rushed through the City Council in 1999 with inadequate review and inadequate consideration of the concerns of the public and
experts on lead poisoning and childrens' health.
- No real requirements that landlords keep records of inspections. No penalties for noncompliance.