The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) has reached a settlement agreement with a building owner to correct 42 lead-based paint violations across his four buildings in the Bronx and Queens.
After months of litigation, Ved Parkash agreed to pay $60,000 in civil penalties and correct violations under Local Law 1 of 2004 (LL1), New York City’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act.
The HDP said Parkash has already made significant progress in addressing the lead related conditions and HPD continues to monitor compliance with the settlement for these four buildings.
“We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, there is no safe level of lead exposure in children. HPD has been working with property owners to make sure they understand and comply with their responsibilities under the expanded law, and cracking down when they do not, as in this latest case,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll.
“As a part of LeadFreeNYC, HPD is committed to keeping children safe from lead through enhanced enforcement, education, and resources for property owners to make good on their obligations.”
In the past fiscal year, even with Housing Court limited in its capacity, HPD has continued to initiate cases seeking correction of lead-based violations and compelling owners to complete work to comply with turnover requirements under LL1.
The four buildings subject to this Order to Correct are: 1585 White Plains Road, Bronx: 12 lead-based violations in 10 units
58 East 190 Street, Bronx: 9 lead-based violations in 7 units
90-60 179 Street, Queens (pictured top) : 24 lead-based paint in 22 units,
150-02 88 Ave, Queens: 13 lead-based paint violations in 10 units
The owner has until August 29 to correct conditions at all four buildings, and a provision in the Order allows HPD to bring the cases back for additional civil penalties if the violations are not corrected in time.
The majority of violations were issued based on HPD’s audit of the buildings, which found that the owner failed to maintain records related to lead-based activities in the building; specifically, 42 of the violations were issued in apartments for which the owner failed to keep records about lead-based paint inspections and abatement on turnover.
Additional building-wide violations were issued for failure to maintain records specifically related to annual inspections and investigations and for failure to maintain all other records required under Local Law 1.
Although some of these record keeping violations cannot be corrected for past periods, the owner will be under order to maintain these records going forward and HPD will require submission for the next year. HPD also required correction of any and all open lead-based paint hazard violations, which would be issued in apartments where a child under six resides and there is peeling paint that has not been proven to be lead-free.
Children exposed to lead may face serious, irreversible harm that has long-term effects, including brain and nervous system damage, reduced educational attainment, and delays in hearing and speech. Children under the age of three are at greatest risk for exposure due to hand-to-mouth activity and because their rapidly growing bodies can readily absorb lead.
Preventing exposure before it occurs and reducing future exposures are therefore the only effective ways to protect children from lead’s deleterious effects. To learn more about landlord and tenant requirements under LL1, as well as about how to protect your family from lead exposure, call 311 or visit the City’s Lead Free NYC page.
HPD’s Office of Enforcement and Neighborhood Services works to rigorously enforce LL1, which requires that rental property owners take proactive steps to protect children from lead-based paint exposure.
Requirements for tenant-occupied rental properties built before 1960 include:
Annually determining apartments where a child under 6 “resides”, which as of January 2020 means a child is routinely spending 10 hours or more hours a week in the unit
Inspecting those units and the common areas of the those building for lead-based paint hazards
Remediating hazards in those units and common areas using safe work practices and certified contractors
Remediating lead-based paint hazards and abating window and door friction surfaces in all units at unit turnover
Testing for lead-based paint in all rental units by August 2025
The expansion of the definition of where a child “resides” has increased the number of apartment complaints for lead in FY21 by almost 40%, increasing the apartments requiring a lead-based paint inspection attempt by more than 8,000. Recently, the law’s application was also expanded to one- to two-family homes that are tenant-occupied, resulting in additional complaints from nearly 400 apartments, prompting inspections by HPD’s enforcement unit.
In Fiscal Year 2021, HPD issued almost 9,500 lead-based paint hazard violations and spent over $1 million in emergency repairs to keep children safe from lead-based paint. Additionally, HPD issued almost 8,000 violations for an owner’s failure to document their lead-based paint activities to more than 700 buildings citywide. Understanding that these requirements are complex and far reaching, HPD has developed multiple webinars and sample documents to help owners meet their obligations and ensure that children are protected from the dangers of lead-based paint.
Property owners can learn more about all required inspections and investigations, record keeping requirements and how to address surfaces with lead-based paint or paint of unknown lead content, as well as how to address HPD issued lead-based paint hazard violations on HPD’s lead-based paint webpage at nyc.gov/lead-based-paint.