What is NYC Local Law 31?

From 2020 through 2021, NYC passed several new lead paint laws that require multifamily building owners to perform lead testing and maintenance. In August 2020, the state passed NYC Local Law 31. NYC Local Law 31 would require building owners to use a certified inspection agency to test for lead-based paint.

What is NYC Local Law 31

What is NYC Local Law 31?

Beginning on August 9, 2020, NYC Local Law 31 states that multifamily building owners must have a certified inspector inspect for lead-based paint. As a building owner, you can schedule lead-based paint remediation and conduct an XRF lead test. At Exit Mold, we use an XRF lead testing approach to detect lead using non-invasive practices.


According to NYC Local Law 31, if built before 1960, the inspection must occur within five years of the law’s effective date. If you’re a building owner and are aware that lead-based paint is present in a structure built between 1960 and 1978, these XRF lead tests must take place.

What are the Requirements Under NYC Local Law 31?

You must comply with specific requirements if you own a multifamily rental building built before 1960 under NYC Local Law 31. These requirements include:

  • Establish if any children under the age of 6 live in the apartment.
  • Have perfect on-site inspections yearly.
  • Use safe inspection practices. At Exit Mold, when we perform our XRF lead test, we use non-invasive methods.
  • When between tenants, any lead hazards found in apartment units must seek remediation using a safe work inspection service.
  • Building owners must disclose all information to tenants.
  • Building owners must have proper licenses and training.

How Does NYC Local Law 31 Influence Lead Paint Conditions?

When the state passed NYC Local Law 31 in 2020, it added several more conditions to existing laws. If you’re a rental property owner, here are some changes you’ll want to note:

  • The passing XRF Lead Test went to 0.5 mg/cm2 from 1.0 mg/cm2.
  • The lead found in dust and blood was lowered. 
  • To be considered “residing” in an apartment, children under 6 must live in the unit for 10 hours or more.
  • When a tenant’s lease is up, any prior XRF Lead Tests are expunged.
  • All units before 1960 must have an XRF lead test inspection in one year.
  • Building owners must keep detailed information and test results for 10 years.
  • A certified inspection company must perform all XRF lead tests.
  • At Exit Mold, we can conduct these inspections for you.

What to Know About NYC Local Law 31 Lead Exemptions

According to NYC Local Law 31, building owners of properties older than 1960 can apply for a lead exemption. As a property owner, a lead exemption will allow you to avoid having an annual inspection under the LL31. In addition, if you’re under 1.0 mg/cm2, the exemption will remain until your tenant moves out of their rental unit or commits a violation.


If you want to be eligible for a lead-free exemption, your XRF lead test must prove no lead on any surfaces. Property owners must prove lead was eliminated by a certified inspection such as Exit Mold if located during the inspection. In addition, monitoring and lead hazards occur every 2 years.

What to Know About NYC Local Law 31 Lead Paint Violations

In regards to Local Law 31 and its 5-year testing requirement, as a building owner, there are certain things you’ll want to know about lead paint violations. First, if the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development finds a violation in your building, you will have a certain period to fix the lead hazards. If you do not correct the violation, the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development will repair it, which may require multiple visits.

Lead in Dust Standards for Property Owners

If you’re a rental property owner, as of June 2020, there are new lead in dust standards that you’ll need to follow. All dust wipe testing must be up to par with federal regulations. If you have an area that fails a dust wiping test, another test will occur.


All dust wipe testing documents must be provided to the NYC Department of Health. You must include a copy of your lab analysis, clearance test, and a chain of custody form among these documents. In addition, you’ll need to have a copy of your inspector certificate from our company and a copy of your firm EPA certificate.

Lead-Based Paint Standards for Property Owners

Following NYC Local Law 31, property owners must follow new lead-based paint standards. When you receive your XRF lead test, your measurement must read 0.5 mg/cm2, lower than the previous 1.0 mg/cm2 standard. In addition, if there are paint samples to test, the new measurement must be 0.25 percent by weight.

Lead Poisoning Information Tenants Should Know


As a tenant, knowing that you have certain rights and responsibilities to keep your family safe from lead exposure is crucial. For example, you will not be responsible for repairs but must alert your property owner if there are potential lead hazards.


If you have a child under 6 years old, property owners must fix any lead hazards, including chipped, cracked, or peeling paint. If you report these hazards to your property owner and they do not have them fixed, you can contact 311. As a tenant, you may also have a free home assessment if you meet the conditions.


When lead testing and fixing lead hazards, your property owner must also use safe practices and trained professionals to repair the work.

Final Thoughts

At Exit Mold, we know that complying with NYC Local Law 32 may seem challenging, so our professionals are here to help you in any way we can when scheduling an XRF lead test. As a property owner, you’ll want to ensure you get annual inspections, have an XRF lead test, and maintain the required documentation to avoid violations and fines.

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