What Are the Steps To Clear HPD Lead Paint Violations in NYC?

HPD lead paint violations

Are you a landlord or a business owner located in New York City and concerned about HPD Lead Paint Violations NYC?

“Receiving a notice of an HPD lead paint violations is an issue facing many NYC landlords, managers and property owners”

Approximately 9,000 lead paint-based violation notices were issued during the first half of 2022 – that’s an average of around 50 HPD lead paint violations per day.

“Getting a notice of a lead based paint violation can be complicated and difficult to understand. However, Manhattan Lead can steer you through the process to cure the HPD violation. The violation can be issued if HPD presumes lead based paint is present in a unit or if it has been confirmed that lead based paint was found in a unit”

We have put together some very helpful information to help you navigate and learn about the different types of HPD lead based paint violations. This will help you through the process of correcting and clearing yourself of any HPD lead based paint violations.

Understanding HPD Lead Paint Violations

If there is lead based paint in your home, it can become a hazard if it begins to deteriorate and thus create dust and lead based particles.. If you see signs where the paint starts chipping off, peeling away or you see cracks appearing, as well as any indication of bite marks on chewable surfaces, then it can become a lead paint hazard that requires attention. 

Are you familiar with Local Law 1? 

The sale of lead based paint was banned in New York City on January 1, 1960. Under Local Law 1 of 2004, and its amendments (including turnover laws) paint is presumed to be lead based paint if: 

  1. The building was built prior to January 1, 1960. 
  2. A child under 6 years old resides in the building (or spends more than 10 hours in the dwelling per week). Young children are more susceptible to the dangers of lead based paint and being exposed.
  3. A multiple dwelling (3 or more residential units) OR A private dwelling (1-2 units) with a tenant occupied. This does not apply to a building where units are occupied by the owner or the owner’s family.

It is NOT a violation of NYC law to simply have lead-based paint present in a residential building. Local Law 1 focuses on the hazards of lead based paint. Lead based paint does not pose an immediate danger as long as it remains covered under layers of intact, non-lead paint. 

The focus is on deteriorated paint or lead based paint on high-risk surfaces such as friction and chewable surfaces. The second main area of concern is the presence of children under the age of six.

Local Law 1 includes actions that owners must take to PREVENT lead based paint hazards and CORRECT lead-based paint hazards.

HPD, is the  primary agency responsible for enforcing lead paint regulations in NYC. HPD will dispatch trained inspectors to audit landlords for compliance with Local Law 1 and turnover regulations such as Local Law 31. When tenants in a unit contact 311 to report issues such as mold, pests, or lead based paint issues, HPD will be notified and dispatch personnel to the building to investigate. Based on their findings, HPD will then issue HPD lead paint violations to building owners requiring them to be corrected in a timely manner.  

What Are the Different Types of HPD Lead Paint Violations? 

There are two common types of HPD lead paint violations namely; 

  • Presumed Violations (616) 
  • Tested Violations (617) 

They are both classified as class C hazardous violations and can result in serious penalties. It can lead up to $250 per day with a maximum of $10,000 pay off in fine. 

  • A suspected violation (616) indicates that an HPD inspector discovered deteriorating paint that is presumed to contain lead based on the building’s age.
  • A confirmed violation (617) indicates that an HPD inspector identified deteriorating paint and confirmed the presence of lead through a positive XRF analyzer reading.

There are other types of HPD lead paint violations;

  • A turnover violation (621 or 622) may be issued if HPD discovers deteriorated paint on window or door friction surfaces that should have been addressed before tenants moved in. Similar to the previous descriptions, the presence of lead can either be presumed based on the building’s age (621) or confirmed through testing with an XRF analyzer (622).
  • An audit violation (614, 618, 619, 620, or 623) is issued when a landlord or property owner undergoes an audit by HPD and is unable to provide the required records as mandated by Local Law 1.

What To Do If My Property Is Issued a Lead Based Paint Violation? 

Deciding Whether to Contest or Not Contest? 

In the event that a particular unit has received a presumed lead violation (616), it is possible to contest the violation and resolve the issue quickly: 

To qualify for contesting, 

  • You need to provide evidence to HPD that either (1) the building was constructed after 1960 or (2) the paint does not contain lead, confirmed through an XRF lead paint testing done by an EPA certified lead paint testing inspector and/or paint chip laboratory analysis.

You are required to submit the Contestation Form along with all the necessary documentation to substantiate your statement(s). The form must be postmarked 6 days prior to the deadline. 

The 4 Steps to Clearing HPD Paint Violation 

Step # 1: Remediation of the Lead Paint Hazard 

Firstly, the removal of lead-based paint must be completed on the specified date indicated on the notice. The method you choose will depend on the surfaces affected. In accordance with Local Law 1 of 2004 and the New York City Health Code §173.14, there are four approved methods for conducting the lead abatement process.

  • Wet Scraping and Repainting
  • Removal or Replacement
  • Enclosure (a.k.a. Containment)
  • Encapsulation

No matter which method you choose for lead removal, it is important that you hire a professional EPA-certified lead paint inspector for lead paint inspection and/or an EPA-certified lead paint abatement firm to take care of such HPD lead paint violations.

A contractor will provide you with a notarized statement that will serve as proof that the dwelling underwent the lead abatement process and has been successfully cleared. 

Step # 2: Dust Wipe Clearance Testing 

dust clearance testing

Once the lead abatement has been completed, a dust wipe clearance examination must be completed. This process ensures that no dust containing lead  is left behind above the legal threshold, which could otherwise contaminate the property and negatively impact the health and well-being of individuals.

Dust clearance testing is a mandatory part of the lead paint abatement process.  An EPA certified lead inspector or an EPA certified risk assessor must perform the dust wipe clearance exam, collect samples and submit them to an NYS ELAP-certified laboratory. The lab then performs a complete analysis and the EPA certified firm will create a report of the findings. 

Step # 3: Taking Care of the Paperwork 

To cure the HPD lead based paint violation and have it removed,, the following paperwork must be submitted to the HPD: 

  • Certificate of Correction (Sworn Statement from Building Owner)
  • Sworn Statement from the Lead Abatement Contractor
  • EPA Certification License of the Lead Abatement Contractor
  • Sworn Statement from the Dust Wipe Contractor
  • EPA Certification License of the Dust Wipe Contractor
  • Results of the Dust Wipe Clearance Testing

Step # 4: Making Necessary Arrangements for Re-Inspection 

lead inspection

As soon as you’re done with submitting the necessary documents, the HPD will initiate the reinspection process to verify that your property is clear from lead contamination. 

During the process, all of your paperwork will be verified. The lead inspection team will do a complete check on lead hazards present within your property. 

If your property is clear from lead traces, the violations will be successfully cleared. 

If an HPD official  detects lead at your premises after you have submitted your application to cure the violation the violation will not be cleared and you may have to repeat the abatement process.  

Manhattan Lead Inspections offers quality service right from the first inspection. 

Need to File for a Postponement? 

If you are unable to complete the lead abatement in a timely manner (which is around the specified due date from the HPD), then you may have the option to request to have the due date postponed.

To request a postponement, you must submit a postponement form to HPD, providing specific reasons such as technical difficulties, inability to obtain necessary materials, funds, or labor, or inability to gain access for repairs.

Just like homeowners & commercial property owners, building management teams can also file for a postponement up to 2 times. While the first one is easy to get, getting approval on the second postponement can be challenging. 

What Happens If You Fail to Resolve the HPD Lead Paint Violations? 

Lead based paint hazards which fall under the category (616 & 617) are considered highly hazardous and require immediate action. If you have children under the age of six, there’s a chance that lead poisoning can lead to serious health risks. 

If you don’t get the violations cleared in a timely manner, you will end up paying a fine of $250/day which can add up to $10,000.00.

Overdue violations can also trigger the HPD’s Emergency Repair Program (ERP). In such scenarios, HPD will eventually show up at your property with their hired contractors for any HPD lead paint violations that’s putting you under the bus. 

The cost for the entire process will be billed to the property owner from the Department of Finance. Costs for the Emergency Repair Program (ERP) can be significantly higher due to the city’s contracting process and administrative fees, compared to hiring a lead abatement firm directly for repairing the hazard.

Want to Make Sure Your Home is Free of Lead Based Paint Hazards?  Contact Us Today!

Manhattan Lead’s expertise in lead-based paint inspections and assessments, can help property owners prevent and correct lead based paint hazards. Our EPA certified firm will investigate the presence of lead based paint in your home, building, or commercial location and advise on how to properly abate and resolve HPD lead paint violations.

Don’t risk the health and safety of your family – let our EPA certified inspectors perform a thorough lead inspection for you. If you have received a notice from the HPD, and you’re not sure what to do – it’s best to get in touch with an EPA certified lead based paint inspection service in NYC to help you out. 

Manhattan Lead is one such place where we can inspect your property and provide you with a complete detailed audit on how much lead is present on surfaces and within the dwelling. Contact us to help you secure your property from such penalties, fines and litigation.