Local Law 61 and Mold Requirements for NYC Landlords

Local Law 61 of 2018 went into effect on January 2019 and introduced several important requirements for mold assessment, abatement, and remediation work to the New York City Administrative Code. According to NYC.gov:

“You may be subject to penalties that range from $800 to $10,000 from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) if you fail to hire the appropriate licensed mold assessors to remediate mold, and/or if the person holding a mold assessment license does not file the required Post-Remediation Assessment Form and Mold Post-Remediation Certification.”

So what exactly are these requirements and penalties? In this article, we’ll break down what landlords in New York City should know about mold and Local Law 61 of 2018.

What is Local Law 61?

Local Law 61 established minimum standards and requirements for mold projects in covered buildings.

The term “mold projects” applies to mold-contaminated areas greater than 10 square feet and includes:

  • Mold assessment (the before and after inspection of a property for mold and conditions that cause mold)
  • Mold remediation and/or abatement (the removal, cleaning, sanitizing, or treatment of mold and mold-contaminated materials)

The term “covered buildings” applies to buildings that satisfy one or both of the following:

  • Contains 10 or more dwelling units
  • Located on a zoning lot that contains 25,000 or more square feet of non-residential floor area (e.g. commercial, office, retail, storage, and factory floor areas)

What Landlords Should Know About Local Law 61

The purpose of Local Law 61 is to ensure that safe work practices are used when handling mold and to deter landlords from performing mold assessment, abatement, or remediation work in a manner that could threaten public health.

Hiring Requirements

For mold projects in covered buildings, here’s the 3 most important things that landlords should be aware of in order to avoid violations and penalties:

  1. Landlords, building owners, managing agents, and their employees are prohibited from performing mold assessment, abatement, or remediation in covered buildings
  2. Work must be performed by licensed mold contractors.
  3. The mold assessor and mold remediator for a given project must be independent from one another (from different companies).

In other words, if there is more than 10 square feet of mold in a covered building that you own, Local Law 61 prohibits you from fixing it yourself. You must hire third-party contractors with valid mold licenses from the NYS Department of Labor. Furthermore, the contractor hired for mold assessment cannot be the same contractor hired for mold remediation.

Failure to comply with the requirements above may result in violations and fines from the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Filing Requirements

Local Law 61 also includes filing requirements for mold contractors hired to work on projects in covered buildings:

  • The licensed mold remediator must file a Mold Remediation Work Plan & Notification Form with the NYC DEP no later than 2 days before the commencement of mold remediation.
  • The licensed mold assessor must file a Mold Post Remediation Assessment Form & Certification with the NYC DEP no later than 7 days after completion of a post-remediation assessment

Both of these forms are available and should be filed online. These forms must be filed by the mold contractors, not the landlord. However, landlords may be subject to penalties if proper paperwork is not filed, so it’s important for landlords to be aware of this requirement.

Licensed mold contractors hired to perform mold assessment, abatement, or remediation are required to complete the forms and provide the landlord or property owner with appropriate filing receipts.

Again, these requirements only apply to “covered buildings” (see above for definition).

Local Law 61 Violations

Landlord penalties for Local Law 61 violations range from $800 to $10,000 depending on the number of violations and gross floor area of the building:

  • 1st violation: up to $1,000 (or 20 cents per square foot)
  • 2nd violation: up to $5,000 (or 30 cents per square foot)
  • 3rd or subsequent violations: up to $10,000 (or 40 cents per square foot)

How to Find a Licensed Mold Contractor

Green Orchard Group is a environmental inspections company based in New York City with over 20 years of experience as licensed mold assessors.

You can also search for licensed mold assessors and mold remediators using the New York State Department of Labor’s Licensed Mold Contractors Search Tool.