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Frequent NYC Landlord Questions About Window Guards

landlord questions NYC window guards
We answer frequent landlord questions about New York City’s window guard law. Don’t see yours? Please ask in the comments.

Based on our site traffic, New York City requirements for window guards seem to be a hot topic for landlords. In fact, this single article has generated more questions and comments than any other. To make it easy for landlords to find answers, we’ve compiled common questions (and answers) in this post.

Do the window guard requirements apply to two-family homes?

New York City’s window guard law applies to an “owner of a multiple dwelling and an owner of a dwelling unit in a multiple dwelling owned as a condominium.” A multiple dwelling describes one that is occupied as “the residence or home of three or more families living independently of each other,” per the NYS Multiple Dwelling Law.

What if a tenant does not return the annual notice?

The law requires landlords to deliver the annual notice to tenants no earlier than January 1 and no later than January 16. If a tenant does not return the signed notice by February 15, and the landlord does not know whether window guards are required:

  • The landlord must inspect the unit to determine whether a child age 10 years or younger lives there.
  • If the inspection indicates that young children live in the unit, the landlord must determine whether approved window guards are properly installed and maintained.

What if the landlord cannot inspect the apartment?

If a landlord is unable to inspect an apartment for either the need or proper installation of window guards by March 1, he or she must contact the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Write a letter, and describe in detail the efforts made to comply with the window guard law.

Landlords must show evidence of their attempts to inspect and install or repair window guards at reasonable times. Such evidence, for example, might include documentation of visits made after 6:00 p.m. or during weekends.

In addition, landlords need to provide the following:

  • A signed roster identifying tenants who complied with efforts to access the apartment for installation or repair of window guards. This document must include the date and time of the maintenance, the apartment number, and the tenant’s initials or signature.
  • A separate roster of tenants who did not comply. This document must include the dates and times the landlord visited the apartment (evenings and weekends), the apartment number, and tenant name.

What if the tenant refuses window guard installation?

Compliance with the window guard law is not optional for tenants of multiple dwellings. If a tenant refuses window guard installation, landlords can report them online.

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Do you have additional questions about window guards? Please post them below, and we’ll do our best to answer them or to point you in the right direction. If you have questions about your building insurance, call our office at 877-576-5200.

This Post Has 4 Comments

    1. Hi, Bernadette. The window guard requirement does not apply to one- and two-family homes, but it’s certainly a good idea.

    1. This question seems to be more an issue of documentation best practices. The HPD guide on housing doesn’t say anything about maintaining previous years’ notices, but it’s a good idea to keep thorough records showing compliance with these requirements, in case someone later complains that he or she never received the required notice.

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