In the June edition of the RSA Reporter, we reported that Local Law 153 of 2016 officially went into effect on June 4, 2017, requiring property owners to provide tenants with a notice regarding procedures that should be followed when a gas leak is suspected.
When the law went into effect in June, the requirements stated that owners must provide a notice to each tenant and prospective tenant with the lease or lease renewal form and post and maintain a similar notice in a common area of the building(s). However, it was unknown until September 18th whether the City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) would interpret the notice requirements to be annual or a one-time event.
As a result of RSA’s advocacy, providing this notice to tenants and prospective tenants is now only a one-time occurrence and not ongoing. The regulations now state that owners must “deliver or cause to be delivered to each tenant and prospective tenant of such dwelling one time, along with the first lease or first lease renewal for such tenant or prospective tenant, a notice in a form approved by HPD describing the procedures to be followed when a gas leak is suspected,” as well as “post a notice in a form approved by HPD in a common area of the dwelling, readily visible, informing the occupants of such dwelling the procedures to be followed when a gas leak is suspected.”
Once owners provide the notice in the first lease or first lease renewal, owners will not be required to deliver the notice in subsequent lease renewals. However, the notice will be required with each new lease. Additionally, owners must place a similar notice in a prominent location in their building(s). The notices must provide the following procedures and information in English and Spanish:
1. Quickly open nearby doors and windows and then leave the building immediately; do not attempt to locate the leak. Do not turn on or off any electrical appliances, do not smoke or light matches or lighters, and do not use a house phone or cell phone within the building.
2. After leaving the building, from a safe distance away from the building, call 911 immediately to report the suspected gas leak.
3. After calling 911, call the gas provider for the particular building. On the notice, owners must list the name of the gas provider as well as the best contact number.
As for the notice placed in the building common area, it must conform with these requirements:
A. The notice shall have letters not less than three-sixteenths of an inch in height.
B. The lettering of the notice shall be of bold type and shall be properly spaced to provide good legibility and the background shall be of contrasting colors.
C. The notice shall be durable and shall be substantially secured to the common area where it is posted.
D. The notice shall be of metal, plastic, or decal.
E. Lighting shall be sufficient to make the notice easily legible.
Failure to post and provide the suspected gas leak notice will result in a violation. RSA members may download a sample of this notice promulgated by HPD through RSA’s website by visiting www.rsanyc.net and clicking the HPD Required Signs and Forms tab under Resources.
Also, it is important to know that HPD has given owners the option to combine the suspected gas leak notice with the smoke detectors notice and carbon monoxide detectors notice. Currently, owners are required to post individual notices regarding smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector requirements in building common areas. However, owners can combine all three into one notice rather than post three separate notices.
A sample of this combined notice has been provided by HPD and is also available on RSA’s website under HPD Required Signs and Forms. Please be advised that the provided sample on our website is merely a sample and should not be posted as is. Owners must conform with the requirements listed above when promulgating the required notice for the building common area.