New York City is one of the most expensive cities in the world, and a large part of that expense is rent. But, before you take the plunge and sign a lease on a pricey apartment, it's essential to know what you're getting into by learning the tenants rights in NYC.
New York State law mandates specific landlord responsibilities in NYC for maintenance and safety. Many of these responsibilities are outlined in the Housing Maintenance Code (HMC) and Multiple Dwelling Law (MDL) of New York State, which the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) enforces. Here is a simple breakdown of the basic tenants rights in NYC that you should know!
If there are roaches, mice, or bedbugs bugging you in your apartment, your landlord is responsible for getting rid of them. The HPD recommends working with pest control services that practice integrated pest management (IPM). General prevention measures include building repairs to seal holes and leaks, extermination services, and proper garbage storage.
One of the tenants rights in NYC includes the right to a safe, mold-free home. Local Law 55 of 2018 requires that owners of buildings with three or more apartments keep their tenants' apartments free of mold and fix any leaks promptly to avoid mold growth and proliferation.
According to New York City HPD, hot water must be provided throughout the year at a constant minimum temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Heating must be provided between October 1st and May 31st, i.e., "heat season," under the following conditions:
According to the HPD, property owners must provide:
Electrical outlets in the public areas of residential buildings with three or more units must have outlet covers, caps, or other safety devices over the openings. Tamper-resistant outlets do not require such covers.
New York City requires installing approved window guards on all windows for buildings with three or more apartments. This includes first-floor bathrooms, windows leading to a terrace or balcony, common areas, and units occupied by a child 10 years of age or younger.
Landlords must provide and install smoke detectors and at least one approved carbon monoxide detector in each unit, as well as written information for testing and maintaining the detectors. But if a tenant breaks or removes a sensor, they are required to replace it.
The Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act requires landlords to identify and remediate lead-based paint hazards in apartments occupied by young children. Landlords must also inspect units occupied by a child under age six and common areas for peeling paint, chewable surfaces, deteriorated subsurfaces, friction, and impacted surfaces.
For buildings built before 1960 (or between 1960 and 1978 if owners know that lead-based paint is present), owners are required to investigate and remove lead-based paint hazards upon turnover of an apartment, using safe work practices and trained workers.