Bill Morris in Building Operations on December 15, 2022
For co-op and condo boards, including those in self-managed buildings, an annual household chore is looming. Boards have until Dec. 31 to comply with two local laws designed to get rid of such unwelcome guests as bed bugs, mice, rats, cockroaches and mold.
“Compliance is not an easy thing,” says Robert Ferrara, president of the Ferrara Management Group, which handles about 100 co-ops, condos and homeowners associations. “It’s another administrative task that adds more and more expense to the running of buildings.”
Here are the specifics of the two local laws:
Local Law 69: Bed bugs. This law requires that all owners of multiple-dwelling properties, including co-op and condo boards, must attempt to obtain the bed bug infestation history from each tenant, shareholder or unit-owner, including whether eradication measures were employed. Owners have from Dec. 1 to Dec. 31 to file an infestation and treatment report with the city’s department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) for the preceding year, which ran from November 2021 through October 2022. A report must be filed even if there is no evidence of bed bugs.
The online portal for annual filing is available here.
The report must include the total number of units, the number of units reporting an infestation, the number of units where eradication measures were taken, and the number of units that experienced a re-infestation after eradication measures. HPD, as required by the law, will make the reported information available online.
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Local Law 55: Rats, mice, cockroaches and mold. This law, the Asthma-Free Housing Act, requires owners of multiple-unit residential buildings with three or more units to inspect all units annually for indoor allergen hazards, such as mice, cockroaches, rats and mold. And it requires safely fixing the conditions that cause these problems.
HPD’s rules provide for work practices to be used by owners in performing the work to remediate indoor allergen hazards. The rules also provide a sample form for owners to use in providing notice to tenants as required under the law, as well as procedures for submitting certifications of correction of such violations and requesting postponements of the time period to correct them.
Boards are required to do the following: complete annual inspections of all units and common areas; remove asthma triggers when apartments change hands; use Integrated Pest Management techniques to address the source of pest infestations, such as moisture, and remediate them; hire a state Department of Labor-licensed mold assessor and remediator to address mold conditions.
Everything you need to know about avoiding fines from local laws is contained in the Habitat Group’s 2023 New York City Apartment Management Checklist.
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