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Window guards and the regulations of New York City

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Children are at risk of injuring themselves by falling out of windows if the windows aren’t guarded properly. If you’ve ever lived in an apartment stories above the ground, this may have been a particular concern. If your child falls because of a lack of window guards on a large apartment building, the fact is that you do have a case against the owner of the property.

According to local law 57 of 2011. The New York Housing Preservation and Development agency can issue violations if proper window guards aren’t installed on buildings. Landlords or owners of buildings with three or more apartments are required to send a notice to tenants each year to find out if the windows have guards on them.

If a tenant wants to have a window guard placed on the building for any reason, the tenant can make that request in writing to the landlord. The landlord is then required by law to install window guards for that tenant. It’s possible that this could happen even if children aren’t in the home; for example, if the couple in the apartment are uncles or aunts who see their nieces or nephews often they may worry for the children’s safety when they stay at the apartment.

Owners must install approved window guards if a child age 10 or younger is in an apartment in the complex. Failing to do so is against the law. Any common areas must also have these guards to prevent injury. The only time there is an exception is if the window leads to a fire escape.

Source: New York City Housing Preservation & Development, “Window Guards,” accessed July 21, 2016

Jason Fuiman

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Co-Managing Partner and Chair of O'Dwyer & Bernstien's Labor & Employee Benefits practice, Jason has over twenty years of experience in the New York legal industry.