NYC Local Law 55 of 2018 – Asthma Free Housing Act

The NYC Local Law 55 was enacted to combat rising asthma rates, improve the indoor air quality of buildings, and improve the quality of life for New York residents. This law necessitates the owners to ensure that all the indoor health hazards are removed from the building. It also requires them to ensure that they use safe and effective standards for preventing those health hazards to happen again.

Allergens such as molds can cause a variety of health problems such as asthma, bronchitis and more. They can also cause inconveniences such as cough, headaches, nausea and dizziness.

What Property Owners Must Do to Keep Homes Free of Pests and Mold

New York City law requires all building owners with three or more apartments to keep their tenants’ homes free of pests and mold. Local Law 55 also applies to landlords of housing units where a tenant suffers from asthma. This requires them to fix all the causes of these problems.

All property owners must use integrated pest management (IPM) practices to safely control pests and fix building-related issues that lead to pest problems.

  • To effectively eliminate pest nests and ensure a pest-free environment, it is recommended to thoroughly clean any pest waste and debris with the use of a HEPA vacuum.
  • Repair and seal any holes, gaps or cracks in walls, ceilings, floors, base boards, around pipes and conduits, and around and within cabinets.
  • Attach door sweeps to all doors that lead to hallways, basements or outside.
  • Remove all water sources for pests by repairing drains, faucets and other plumbing materials that collect water or leak.
  • Use pesticides sparingly.

All Property Owners Must Safely Remove Indoor Mold and Their Sources

  • Remove any standing water, and fix leaks or moisture conditions.
  • Move furniture away from work areas or cover with plastic sheeting before cleaning.
  • Limit the spread of dust.
  • Clean moldy areas with water and soap or a mild detergent.
  • Clean dust from the workplace with wet mops, vacuum cleaners or proper related equipment.
  • Throw away all cleaning-related waste in heavy-duty plastic bags and seal securely.
  • If a building has 10 or more apartments and there is 10 or more square feet of mold to clean, the property owners are required to hire a mold assessor and remediator who is licensed by the New York State Department of Labor.

Owners of Private Buildings with Three or More Apartments Must Also:

  • Inspect every apartment and the building’s common areas for cockroach and rodent infestations, mold and the conditions that lead to these hazards, at least once a year and more often if necessary.
  • Ensure that the new apartments are mold and pest free before a new tenant moves in. They should also be thoroughly cleaned before being let out.

What Tenants Must Do to Keep Homes Free of Pests and Mold

  • Keep homes clean and dry.
  • Place food in sealed containers. Keep counters and sinks clean.
  • Use garbage cans with tight-fitting lids.
  • Make sure to dispose of garbage and recycling daily, and securely tie up garbage bags before placing them in the compactor chutes.
  • Tell property owners or building superintendents (also known as supers) right away if there are pests, water leaks, or holes or cracks in the walls and floors.

NYC Local Law 55 - Mold Assessment

Local Law 55 Violations & Penalties

Notice of Violations are sent to building owners who fail to comply with the law. They are then required to correct any violations and file a certification of corrections form before the deadline given on the notice. Penalties can range from $10 to $125 per day, up to a maximum of $10,000 depending on the class and severity of the violation.

Local Law 55 FAQs

Q- What are the Indoor Health Hazards under Local Law 55?

All indoor health hazards which trigger asthma, such as:  Mold, Rodents and Cockroaches. Landlords must also apply ongoing measures to ensure that their properties remain free of indoor health hazards.


Q- What are the annual requirements for Local Law 55 Compliance?

Landlords are now required to conduct investigations, at least annually, and provide Local Law 55 inspection completion form. Landlords must also take all necessary measures to keep the property free from indoor allergen hazards and pests and remediate any existing conditions.  However, there are additional circumstances that may warrant additional investigations.

Investigation Requirements

  1. Annual Inspection
  2. Occupant Complaints
  3. Occupant Requests
  4. DOB Issued Violation

A notice must be provided in all tenant leases outlining the new obligations and regulations under Local Law 55.  The notice must be approved by the DOB and made available in multiple languages.


Q- What are the Violations for Non-compliance with NYC Local Law 55?

The Department of Buildings (DOB) will be issuing violations to any landlord not compliant with the regulations of Local Law 55.  Fines for violations can vary depending on the specifics of the incidence and can be as large as $10,000 per occurrence.  All incidences of hazards must be corrected, and a Certificate of Correction must be obtained from a licensed professional and submitted to the DOB.

It may be necessary to conduct multiple inspections per year and perform remediation when necessary. Therefore, it is very important to put effective prevention methods in place to save time and money in the long run.

To Comply with the New York City Local Law 55 and stay on the right path towards NYC Local Law 97, reach out to us.

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