Who is responsible for unsafe conditions in apartment buildings?

By Steven Miller
Senior Partner

About 19 million people live in the larger New York City metropolitan area. Of that population, 69 percent are renters. For most New Yorkers, apartment living is a way of life.

As an apartment dweller, you may wonder what your landlord’s duty is to maintain the property. The state of New York has a series of multiple dwelling laws that provide protections to tenants and hold landlords accountable for maintaining their properties.

An apartment building must remain in good condition

According to the New York State Attorney General, every part of a multiple dwelling unit must be kept in good repair, from its roof to the lot on which the unit is built. Landlords must keep electrical systems, heating, plumbing, sanitation, ventilating systems and appliances in good working order. The law also states if there are any issues that causes danger to life or health, local housing officials may order the landlord to repair these issues. These repairs must be completed within a reasonable amount of time.

An injured tenant has legal recourse against a negligent landlord

Unfortunately, not all landlords abide by New York law, and when dangerous conditions exist, there is potential for injury. If you suffered an injury due to unsafe conditions in your apartment building, you may have a case for a premises liability lawsuit.

With premises liability claim, you first must prove you had a right to be on the property. Then you must show the landlord knew, or should have known, about the safety issue that caused your injury. Then you will need to prove they did nothing to fix the issue, or that their repair was inadequate. Finally, a premises liability suit needs to show that this negligence on the part of your landlord caused your injury.

New York law provides protection to renters. A tenant that is injured due to the landlord’s failure to maintain a property has legal options to pursue.

About the Author
Steven Miller, Esq. is the founding member and Senior Partner in Miller, Montiel & Strano, P.C. Mr. Miller’s extensive career as a trial attorney spans five decades. He tries cases for the catastrophically injured victims of construction site accidents, motor vehicle and premises accidents caused by the negligence of others. Mr. Miller is a detail oriented, tenacious attorney committed to achieving the maximum results for his clients; he has obtained numerous seven figure verdicts and settlements.