Who is Liable for Improperly Maintained Rental Properties?

Lever & Ecker, PLLC July 5, 2013 General

When you are renting, you have rights as a tenant. Landlords have a legal obligation to maintain decent living conditions on the properties they own. Whether you rent an apartment, restaurant space, warehouse, office, or any other type of dwelling, the landlord has many responsibilities surrounding it. If they are not being fulfilled, you as a tenant can be subject to injury or poor health conditions. Improper upkeep of a property could also lead to the tenant becoming the victim of a dangerous crime. It is important to know what rights you are entitled to when renting.

Properly Installed Locks

Landlords must have locks installed that comply with state laws and be sure they are in working order. If a tenant becomes the victim of a crime because of an insufficient locking system, the landlord can be held responsible. Peepholes are necessary for additional security as well.

Right to Privacy

A landlord cannot enter an apartment unless there is an emergency such as a fire, a prearranged repair or emergency repair must be done, or the landlord is showing the apartment to a prospective buyer or renter.

Additional Services Required by Landlord

Maintaining electrical systems
Keeping all stairways clear or debris and snow or ice
Removing snow from roofs when necessary
Installing handrails on stairs
Providing mirrors on elevators
Providing locking mailboxes
Maintaining all appliances such as the refrigerator and stove
Fixing all leaks
Fixing all floor or ceiling damage
Removing peeling lead paint
Providing records of lead paint installation
Prevention and removal of rodents
Prevention and removal of insects
Prevention and removal of toxins including mold
Keeping all ventilation systems clear
Providing hot water year-around
Providing heat from October 1-May 31
Keeping premises free of garbage
Avoiding discrimination based on race, color, creed, religion, sex, disability or national origin

Landlords additionally cannot evict a tenant without sufficient evidence that they have violated a lease agreement or any local housing codes or laws. If you or someone you know have been a victim of a landlord’s improper maintaining or a property or failure to follow specific rules, contact an experienced NY premises liability attorney today.

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