Building owners in New York City need to be aware of all sign and notice regulations - by Evan Lipstein

March 19, 2019 - Spotlights
Evan Lipstein, 
Hyline Safety Company

Do you remember this song, “Sign, sign, everywhere a sign; Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind; Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?” by Five Man Electrical Band? It’s a great song, but bad news for New York City owners.

Managers of residential buildings in New York City need to be aware of the various sign requirements. Various laws require landlords to post specific signs and notices for tenants. These include the Housing Maintenance Code (part of the New York City Administrative Code), the Multiple Dwelling Law, along with Rules of the city of New York, FDNY and other agencies.

Here’s a partial list of required signs and notices (not including FDNY required signs):

  • 3RCNY505-01/02: Low-mounted signs on entrance doorjambs for apartments, stair exits and eye-level hallway corridor directional signs.
  • Elevator landing sign: “In case of fire, use stairs unless otherwise instructed.”
  • Certificate of inspection visits: Owners need to provide a frame that will accommodate a 6” x 9” inspection visit card, issued by the HPD inspector who visits. 
  • Garbage collection notice: Display a tamper-proof sign with the current hours and method of garbage collection in the lobby. 
  • Building floors: Identify the number of each floor with a sign that indicates floor number.
  • Street numbers: The front of the building must display the address. 
  • Carbon monoxide detectors sign: Owners must also post HPD-approved notices with carbon monoxide monitor requirements in a common area. Recently a combined notice for smoke detectors/carbon monoxide detectors and gas leak notice have been combined onto a single sign. 
  • Housing information guide notice: Notify tenants about the availability of the New York City housing information guide by posting a notice near the mail delivery area.
  • Service interruption sign: If making repairs or performing any work that will interrupt utilities for more than two hours, owners need to post a notice at least 24 hours before the service interruption. The information provided must be in both English and Spanish.
  • Gas meter room sign.
  • Boiler room access sign: HPD requires owners to post the name and location of the person who has access to boiler room keys. One notice goes in the lobby; another belongs on the boiler room entrance.
  • The property’s janitor name/address: Owners must post a sign with the name of the janitor or housekeeper at the building entrance. The sign must include the person’s address, apartment number and telephone number.
  • Disaster response sign: Residential buildings with any non-owner-occupied units must post a temporary notice with emergency contact information in the common area at the following times: 
  • Before a weather emergency (e.g., blizzard, tropical storm, etc.); 
  • After a natural disaster; and 
  • Utility outage: After learning that a utility outage will last longer than 24 hours 
  • HPD Building Registration Serial number sign.
  • New York City Smoke Free Act sign: “No Smoking or Electric Cigarette Use”  These signs are posted in the stairs and other common areas of your building.
  • Recyclable materials storage area: Signs informing residents where to bring recyclables, separation of metal, glass, plastic, and cartons and how to dispose of such materials, including rinsing requirement.
  • Recycling paper and cardboard: Sign informing residents about source-separation of paper and cardboard and how to dispose of such materials, including requirement to tie it into bundles.

There are also many notices required. Here are some of the required notices to provide to tenants:

  • Fire safety notice: Combustible building or non-combustible building.
  • Windows and lead poisoning: Protect children from window falls and lead poisoning notice.
  • Allergens: Indoor allergens annual notice and pamphlet.
  • Stove knob covers: Availability annual notice.
  • Housing information guide notice sign.
  • Bedbugs: Post or distribute bedbug annual filing receipt notice.

In addition to all of the signs listed above, owners need to post contact information for specific functions, including emergency contacts for your building and for different city agencies.

Given the dizzying requirements for so many different signs its no wonder that owners and managers are complaining how the requirements are…“Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind.”

Hyline Safety Company offers assorted signs needed to comply with the local law requirements. Please reach out if you need our assistance.

Evan Lipstein is the president and owner of Hyline Safety Company, Manhattan, N.Y.


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