In October 2012, New York was severely affected by Hurricane Sandy, leaving the area badly affected and flooded as the storm surge reached 13 feet. This disaster was taken advantage of by mold companies.

The New York State Labor Law’s Article 32 serves to protect consumers in response to Hurricane Sandy wherein a number of mold companies took advantage of the affected businesses and homeowners.

Since it has been implemented, all companies that conduct mold inspections and remediations are required to follow the new protocols and are required to have certain certifications.

New York State Mold Law Article 32

Article 32 of the New York State Labor Law creates a protocol concerning licensing requirements, as well as minimum work standards for companies and professionals in the mold inspection and remediation industry.

In the new law, there are three main components created by the Mold Program:

Training

Contractors will be required to have appropriate training before being licensed to perform mold assessments, mold remediation, or abatement services as a way to protect consumers

Licensing

  • Advertising, and performance of mold assessments or mold remediation will not be allowed for contractions without the required license.
  • This exempts businesses and homeowners who are performing mold assessments and mold remediation in their own properties.

Minimum Work Standards

The Mold Program also established minimum work standards for both mold companies and licensed professionals. This includes:

  1. Prohibition of performance of both assessment and remediation on the same property by the same individual as a way to protect against fraud
  2. Require an independent mold assessor to define the scope of the remediation work to protect against fraud
  3. Enforce US EPA standards on the identification of disinfection products and related items
  4. Provide personal protective equipment to employees and personnel as deemed necessary
  5. Completion of a post-remediation assessment

Based on this law it will be unlawful for any professional or individual to perform any mold-related processes without meeting the minimum requirements, or achieving the exemptions that apply.

Exemptions:

  • If a residential property owner performs the mold assessment, mold remediation, or abatement on his/her own property
  • An employee of the property owner performs the mold assessment, mold remediation, or abatement that does not have more than four dwelling units
  • A managing agent, employee, or owner performs the mold assessment, mold remediation, or abatement on a commercial or residential property of more than four dwelling units. However, this shall not apply if the involved individual is engaged in the business of mold practice for the public
  • A local, federal, or state unit and/or employee who performs mold assessment, mold remediation, or abatement

While these exemptions may exist, state-regulated standards are still in place, and the negligence of the performing individual can still be held accountable for compliance. Thus, basic minimum training can still be necessary.

According to the Mold Program, it will be unlawful for any person or company to advertise, hold, and perform procedures as a mold assessor, remediator, or worker unless they are issued a mold license by the Commissioner.

New York State Mold Laws

New York Mold Disclosure Guidelines

Currently, the state of New York does not have any legislation or any regulation that requires landlords to disclose high levels of mold growth in their properties to their tenants.

Apart from any requirement of disclosure, landlords shall answer questions concerning plumbing, humidity, and ventilation to their potential buyers or tenants whenever they put a property for rent or sale.

New York Rules Concerning Mold in Rental Properties

Although the law concerning mold in rental properties is vague and does not require the landlord to disclose the mold growth, there are still a set of rules that they must follow concerning rental properties. The following rules are:

  1. Landlords that own three or more apartment buildings of any size where a tenant or occupant has asthma should keep their apartments free from mold, as per landlord-tenant laws.
  2. While there are no laws in the New York state that addresses the landlord’s liability in mold prevention and mold remediation, tenants can still report landlords who refuse to respond to solving mold problems.
  3. Tenants can contact the city’s health and housing departments if the mold issue has made it dangerous for the tenant’s health, or has made the property inhabitable.
  4. If the landlord remains unresponsive and negligent of the reported mold problem, the tenant can take the concern to the court. This can also be done if the city health and housing department’s solutions are inadequate.