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More New Laws Affecting New York Property Owners

In recent months, the State and City have adopted a host of new laws and regulations imposing obligations on cooperatives, condominiums, and other building owners. In addition to the conflict of interest disclosure law discussed above, buildings in New York City are now required to adopt a written smoking policy by August 28, 2018; to report to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development annually on any bedbug infestations in the building; and (unless fully sprinklered) to post reflective signs on apartment and stairwell doors and corridors in a format required by the Fire Department.  Please see the November 2017 issue of this Client Advisory for further information on these new legal requirements.

Under another Local Law recently adopted by the New York City Council and signed by the Mayor, all buildings will be required to have their gas lines and building service meters inspected by a licensed master plumber at least once every five years.  The inspection must include both a visual inspection and the use of a gas-detection meter.  Any issues must be reported to the building owner, the utility company, and the Department of Buildings.  The new law will take effect on January 1, 2019 and the DOB is expected to adopt regulations governing when the first inspection report will be due.  In addition, building owners are now required to advise tenants, both in leases and lease renewals and by posting in a common area of the building, as to the procedures to be followed when a gas leak is suspected.

Buildings with rooftop water tanks are required to have the tanks inspected each year.  Another New York City local law that took effect in December 2017 now requires that owners submit these annual inspection results to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which will post them on its website.

A new local law known as the Asthma-Free Housing Act requires that landlords conduct an annual inspection for problems such as mold, vermin, and water leaks and to remediate any such conditions that are detected.  This law, which does not apply to cooperative or condominium units occupied by their owners, will take effect in January 2019.  Another new local law requires that mold remediation covering an area larger than 10 square feet must now be performed by licensed contractors.

Still another new local law will require all New York City buildings larger than 25,000 square feet to post “letter grades” from A to F, reflecting the building’s energy efficiency rating.  The required signs, in a format similar to those currently in use for restaurants’ sanitation ratings, will have to be posted near the building’s public entrances.  This requirement will take effect in 2020.