Landlords, the owners and the managing agents of property rented to tenants, have non-delegable duties under the law to eliminate hazardous lead based paint conditions in apartments where children under the age of six or seven live.

For example, to safeguard the children in New York and New Jersey, the governments have enacted laws directly addressing lead hazards in apartments.

New York City Administrative Code (New York Local Law One) provides as follows:

The existence of a lead-based paint hazard in any multiple dwelling where a child of applicable age resides is hereby declared to constitute a condition dangerous to life and health. An owner shall take action to prevent the reasonably foreseeable occurrence of such a condition and shall expeditiously remediate such condition and any underlying defect, when such underlying defect exists, consistent with the work practices established pursuant to section 27-2056.11 of this article, except where lead-contaminated dust is present in such multiple dwelling and the department of health and mental hygiene has made a determination pursuant to paragraph six of subdivision c of section 27-2056.10 of this article.

For the purposes of this article, the term “applicable age” shall mean “under seven years of age” for at least one calendar year from the effective date of this section. Upon the expiration of such one year period, in accordance with the procedures by which the health code is amended, the board of health may determine whether or not the provisions of this article should apply to children of age six, and based on this determination, may redefine “applicable age” for the purposes of some or all of the provisions of this article to mean “under six years of age,” but no lower.

In any multiple dwelling erected prior to January 1, 1960, it shall be presumed that the paint or other similar surface-coating material in any dwelling unit where a child of applicable age resides or in the common areas is lead-based paint. The presumption established by this section may be rebutted by the owner of the dwelling or dwelling unit by submitting to the department a sworn written statement by the owner supported by lead-based paint testing or sampling results, a sworn written statement by the person who performed the testing if performed by an employee or agent of the owner, and such other proof as the department may require. Testing performed to rebut the presumption may only be performed by a person who has been certified as an inspector or risk assessor in accordance with subparts L and Q of part 745 of title 40 of the code of federal regulations or any successor regulations. The determination as to whether such proof is adequate to rebut the presumption established by this section shall be made by the department.

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