On Sept. 4, 2008, New York Governor David A. Patterson signed into law a bill requiring landlords to warn tenants about known exposures to certain indoor air contaminants. The law applies to owners of either residential or commercial real property and becomes effective 90 days from Sept. 4, 2008. The law applies to all landlords who receive indoor air test results exceeding New York State Department of Health (“DOH”) or federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration (“OSHA”) guidelines for indoor air quality.

Impact on Landlords

Any landlord that has received test results exceeding DOH or OSHA guidelines is required to provide all tenants and occupants with a generic DOH fact sheet identifying the contaminant of concern, the associated health risks, guidelines for indoor air quality, notices of resources providing more information and timely notice of any public meetings required to be held to discuss the test results. Additionally, landlords are required to provide test results and/or closure letters upon 15 days request from any tenant or occupant.

Furthermore, any landlord of real property subject to monitoring pursuant to an ongoing remedial program or for which an engineering control is mitigating indoor air contamination is required to provide each prospective tenant with a DOH fact sheet and, upon request, test results, prior to the tenant signing a binding lease or rental agreement. Additionally, the first page of the lease or rental agreement must provide the following language in at least 12-point boldface font: “NOTIFICATION OF TEST RESULTS – THE PROPERTY HAS BEEN TESTED FOR CONTAMINATION OF INDOOR AIR: TEST RESULTS AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ARE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST.”

Landlords may be fined up to $500 for each violation of the law and $500 per day until they are in compliance with the law.