Q: Must I provide separate notice to the tenants when doing renovations to common areas?

EPA recognizes that neither residents nor owners/managers/renovators are well-served if duplicative notifications are frequently issued for similar renovation activities.  There are several...

EPA recognizes that neither residents nor owners/managers/renovators are well-served if duplicative notifications are frequently issued for similar renovation activities.  There are several options owners/managers/renovators may use to most efficiently provide residents in both single-family and multifamily housing with the necessary information.

 
(A) Informational Signs – Owners/managers/renovators may provide notice of renovation activities in common areas to affected tenants by posting signs.  Signs must be posted while the renovation is ongoing and they must describe the general nature and locations of the renovation and the anticipated completion date.  These signs must be posted in areas where they are likely to be seen by the occupants of all of the affected units.  The signs must be accompanied by a posted copy of the “Renovate Right” pamphlet or information on how interested occupants can review a copy of the pamphlet or obtain a copy from the renovation firm at no cost to the occupants. 
(B) Category Notices – When renovation activities fall within distinct categories which are performed on a cyclical or recurring basis (e.g., hallway painting), they may be grouped into a single notice which describes the categories and provides a description of the locations affected.  To fulfill the requirement for providing timing information for the renovations, owners/managers/renovators may either list the expected starting and ending dates, or employ one of the other methods for meeting the timing requirements described below. 
(C) Bi-monthly Notices – Section 745.84(a) of the RRP Rule requires that notifications be given no more than 60 days before renovation activities begin.  To minimize the number of notices required, owners/managers/renovators may group all of the renovation activities expected to occur over a 60-day period into a single notice distributed bi-monthly (every other month).   Renovation activities which were expected to occur within a given 60-day period, but which were canceled or postponed, would simply be addressed in the subsequent bimonthly notice.  Including renovation notices in, or as an attachment to, a pre-existing newsletter is acceptable provided that the cover of the newsletter prominently indicates that lead-based paint renovation notices are contained in or attached to the newsletter. 

Descriptions of Renovation Timing -- Section 745.84(b)(2) of the RRP Rule requires that notices contain the “expected starting and ending dates” of the proposed common area renovations.  Although providing specific dates is preferable wherever possible, the Agency is aware that unexpected events or circumstances often result in delays and/or cancellations of planned renovation activities.  To provide sufficient flexibility without unduly compromising residents’ rights to information on the timing of renovations in common areas, owners/managers/renovators may employ the following terminology to address the following timing scenarios to avoid the needing to issue supplemental notices: 
 – “On or about” -- acceptable when the expected starting or ending dates occurs one week before or after the date was given. 
 – “Early [insert month name]” – acceptable when the expected starting or ending dates occur during the first half of the specified month. 
 – “Late [insert month name]” -- acceptable when the expected starting or ending dates occur during the second half of the specified month. 
 – “Ongoing for the 12-month period beginning [insert month name]” – acceptable when the renovation commences within 60 days of the issuance of the notice and continues throughout the 12-month period.  If an interruption of more than 60 days occurs anytime after commencement of such activity, a new notice will be required before the activity may restart. 

Descriptions of Renovation Ending Dates – Due to the inherent difficulties in estimating the duration of many renovation activities, owners/managers/renovators are encouraged to make allowances for unexpected delays when providing descriptions of ending days under Section 745.84(b)(2) of the RRP Rule.  Any estimated ending date with a rational basis is acceptable.