The end of the year is always a busy time for property owners – and we’re not talking holiday shopping. The end of the year is always a busy time for property owners – and we’re not talking holiday shopping.
At each year’s end, those dreaded Annual Safety Notice Mailings need to go out, with all that entails.
NYC law requires landlords to send yearly safety documentation and forms to tenants in order to ensure compliance with city agencies. These documents include information on various safety aspects, as well as forms inquiring about the ages of any children living in your tenants’ apartments.
As with each of NYC’s compliance requirements, sending out your Annual Safety Notice Mailings is a process that involves multiple steps and strict adherence to the law.
Feeling overwhelmed? No worries; we’ll walk you right through the process!
Here’s everything you need to know about NYC’s mandatory Annual Safety Notice Mailings for landlords:
1) The law requirements
All tenants of residential buildings must receive the following annually:
A. Fire Safety Guides
B. Window Guard Notices
C. Lead Paint Notices
As a landlord or property manager of a dwelling that houses three apartments or more, you are responsible for:
• Ensuring that the required forms and information are sent to all tenants.
• Tracking and storing all tenant responses and following up on tenants who fail to respond.
• Inspecting for lead paint and any required window guard installations as responses are received.
• Notifying the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) in the event that you are unable to determine if a child lives in a unit.
• Maintaining records of sent mailings, follow-up efforts and tenant responses for ten years.
2) Penalties for non-compliance
As always, there are consequences for failing to comply with the law. If you neglect to send out the Annual Safety Notice Mailings, do not take appropriate action when you receive the responses, or do not track the responses and follow up on those who haven’t returned the forms, you can be facing serious penalties.
If an accident occurs in one of your dwellings and you did not comply with this law, you may be looking at financial and criminal risks, which can mean increased insurance rates, and/or prison time. To make it even worse, you can be hit with a lawsuit for negligence from the affected tenant.
Aside from criminal charges and civil penalties, the DOHMH and FDNY levy fines ranging from $500 to $5000 per violation for landlords who do not comply with this law.
It just isn’t worth cutting corners and doing a quick job when it means paying for it later. You don’t want to mess with your annual mailings!
3) Sending out the mailings
Your notices can be delivered via first-class mail, hand-delivered to your tenants, or sent out with the January rent bill, provided it’s sent out between December 15th 2017, and January 16th, 2018.
Once you’ve sent them out, you’ll need to wait for the responses and then take appropriate action where necessary.
Your tenants will have until February 15th to respond. If they fail to do so, you must make a reasonable attempt to inspect their apartment to determine if a child lives there. If you are unable to gain access to the dwelling despite making an effort to do so, it’s best to hold onto proofs of your efforts for ten years to avoid criminal charges and liability.
4) Preparing for your mailings
To make your job simpler, start early. You can review your tenant rent rolls and verify that they are updated with the correct unit numbers, tenant names, phone numbers and email addresses. Meet with your team to determine who will be handling the follow-up lead inspections and window guard installations.
5) How to make your job even easier
It’s simple math really… Zero job for you = Zero headache for you So how do you make this annual headache as easy as possible? Just let Jaffa do the job for you!
All you’ll need to do is fill out some basic information on our website and Jack Jaffa Safety Notice Mailing Services will send the appropriate packets to your tenants.
Your tenants respond by filling in a simple form that gets sent back to us – not you.
All the responses get processed by our dedicated team and your account will be updated automatically with all the necessary information.
You can track the entire process online and view the scanned copy of the responses whenever you need them. All postage, processing, and uploading are included in our reasonable fee.
Contact us today for more details.
Whether you use our services or decide to do it yourself, remember to pay strict attention to every detail of your mailings to assure perfect compliance.