Friday, October 3, 2008

New Law Requiring Tenants Receive Environmental Disclosures

In December 2008, a new law will go into effect in New York, requiring property owners and landlords to disclose the results of environmental testing to current and prospective tenants.

Owners and landlords of both residential and commercial properties will be required to disclose test results that exceed federal or state air guidelines. Furthermore, owners of certain properties will be required to provide written notice of the testing on the first page of any lease agreement. The law also requires owners of those properties to give tenants a fact sheet and timely notice of any public meetings where the test results will be discussed, or face fines and penalties.

The law seems to be focused on indoor air contamination. However, it defines "test results" broadly. As a result, once the law is implemented it could be interpreted to include any tests conducted on air, groundwater and soil on the property.

The complete text of the new law can be found here.

Landlords and tenants concerned about this law, and their rights and responsibilties under it, should be sure to contact an attorney prior to executing any new leases, to insure compliance with the law.