Governor Signs Lupardo’s “Tenant Notification” Bill

New law will inform tenants of environmental concerns

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-Endwell) announced today that legislation (A.10952-B/S.8634) she authored with Senator Thomas Libous (R-Binghamton) to help protect tenants from indoor air contamination was signed into law by Governor David Paterson. The new law (Ch. 521 of 2008) will now require landlords to notify tenants of the availability of test results.

“This new law will now close the current gaps that have allowed landlords to leave renters in communities like Endicott and Hillcrest uninformed of known or suspected environmental contamination," said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo. “I applaud Governor Paterson for signing this bill into law. It's only fair that we protect individuals and families who rent just like homeowners are protected when they purchase their homes.”

While there are requirements to inform property owners of certain environmental threats, there is no system in place to protect renters. In Endicott, Hillcrest and other areas across the state, renters have been unknowingly exposed to potential carcinogens, such as Trichloroethylene (TCE), even though landlords were notified about the contamination.

The new law, which goes into effect in 90 days, requires property owners to provide tenants with a fact sheet from the New York State Department of Health (DOH) which identifies the compound or contaminant of concern, along with the guidelines for indoor air quality and health risks associated with exposure. Landlords could be fined up to $500 for each violation, in addition to a fine of up to $500 for each day they are in violation.

Similar legislation was vetoed last year by Governor Spitzer and in 2006 by Governor Pataki.