Monday, December 15, 2014

143 West 69 Street / 2020 Broadway BREACH Warranty of Habitability / Asbestos

Arthur, Alex, Ian,
Although you have received a “permit” from the Historic District to replace the windows at 143 West 69th Street and 2020 Broadway (and have replaced windows in some of your other properties) – you still have the responsibility of hiring properly trained and accredited asbestos professionals.
None of the men you employ to either replace the windows or do any other work on the premises are properly trained or certified.
The risks from asbestos, as you well know, occur when it is damaged or disturbed where asbestos fibers become airborne and are inhaled.
You have demonstrated a lack of concern for the health and well being of your tenants, for the health and well being of your workers, and have misled the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
Until you can remedy the situation by having trained professionals complete the replacement of windows you are to CEASE AND DESIST all operations.
I have reported you to all relevant agencies. Furthermore I have created a Tenant’s Association, of which I am President. Please be advised: You have repeatedly breached the Warrant of Habitability and we will pursue any and all legal remedies according to the law.
As per the breaching of the Warranty of Habitability laws, I intend to inform all tenants to stop paying rent immediately.
Yours truly,
Kirby Sommers
President
143 West 69th Street Tenants Association

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Asbestos

December 9, 2014

To: All Residents of 143 West 69th Street
From: Kirby Sommers #5G
Re: Tenant Rights and Landlord Responsibilities / Immediate ASBESTOS Alert

Dear Neighbors,

As you know ABC Properties has been changing the windows in our apartments. The workers who have been performing this work are:

1.      Unlicensed and in many cases they are day workers who are illegal immigrants, are not bonded (so things can go missing in your apartment and you have zero remedy), and cannot speak English.
2.      Because these workers are unlicensed they do not know how to properly follow safety rules which means they have created hazardous health and safety conditions to the residents of this building. (LANDLORD ABC PROPERTIES) RESPONSIBLE for this.

I have compiled the following information. I also contacted DEP (Department of Environment Protection) last week on December 3, 2014. They responded immediately (within 20 minutes of my phone call).

When the DEP inspector arrived, NO ONE ALLOWED HER to access the two apartments where Francisco and his men (possibly all day laborers) – were replacing windows. These apartments included #1B and #4B (Francisco, btw, lives in an uptown building also owned by ABC Properties).

I tried to help the DEP inspector by contacting Ian DeFronze, as well as our super, Max to help the inspector gain access. NO ONE RESPONDED TO THIS EMERGENCY REQUEST.

PURPOSE: To form a TENANTS ASSOCIATION where we can come together as a group and keep us safe from deceptive and illegal landlord practices and to help protect us against injuries caused by neglectful practices.

I can be reached via email (on subject please write TENANTS ASSOCIATION):

kirbysommers@aol.com or tel: 212.787.8726

(Please DO NOT just knock on my door).

I will contact you re our FIRST TENANTS ASSOCIATION MEETING shortly….please respond via email if you wish to become part of the Tenants Association of 143 West 69 Street (we may include tenants from 2020 Broadway)


WHY IS THIS A PROBLEM?

LEAD PAINT, ASBESTOS, HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS

Rules for Repair and Renovation Work:

When landlords have work done in apartments, such as fixing plumbing, painting a room, or replacing windows, certain requirements apply.

BETWEEN 2 AND 100 SQUARE FEET

When disturbing between 2 and 100 square feet of lead paint in a room, landlords must complete all of the following steps:


1. Hire trained workers

Workers must have completed a training course in lead-safe work practices by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Lead abatement workers certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may also be hired.


2. Post Warning Signs outside the work area

a)     The contractor must post the signs and make sure they stay in place until the work is done.
b)     The signs must say: WARNING: LEAD WORK AREA-POISON-NO SMOKING OR EATING
c)      The landlord and the contractor must tell tenants to stay out of the work area.


3. Prepare the area before starting work.

The work area must be cleaned, cleared, and sealed off from the rest of the apartment so that lead dust does not escape from the work area.

a)     All floors, furniture, draperies, and other items in the work area must be HEPA-vacuumed (High Efficiency Particulate Air) or washed.
b)     Movable items, once cleaned, may be removed from the work area.
c)      One layer of plastic sheeting and waterproof tape must be used to cover and seal floors, windows, vents and items in the work area.

4. Clean-up every day.

a)     At the end of each work day, the work area must be thoroughly HEPA-vacuumed and wet-mopped.
b)     All work materials must be stored away from occupants, in sealed containers, or removed from the premises.
c)      Daily inspections must ensure that no dust or debris is tracked out of the work area.

5. Do a final clean-up.

a)     Final clean-up must be completed before surfaces are repainted.
b)     When the work is finished, all plastic sheeting must be removed safely. Plastic sheeting must be sprayed with water mist and all debris safely discarded. Plastic must then be folded carefully and sealed in heavy-duty plastic bags.
c)      All surfaces – including ceilings, walls, windows, floors, and furniture – must be HEPA-vacuumed, washed, and HEPA-vacuumed again.
d)     The work area must be inspected when the clean-up is finished. If dust and debris remain, the area must be re-cleand.

6. Take ‘clearance dust wipes’. Clearance dust wipes must be done to ensure proper clean-up.

a)     Landlords must hire a qualified, third party individual (independent of the landlord and contractor) to make a visual inspection and take clearance dust wipes.
b)     Three dust wipe samples must be collected from every room or area where work has been done: one from a window well, one from a window sill, and one from the floor. (If the room has no window, then only a floor sample must be taken.)
c)      In addition, one wipe sample must be taken from the floor in a room or area next to the work area.
d)     Dust wipe results must be less than the following levels if not, clean-up and dust wipe testing must be repeated.
*Floors: 40 mcg/ square foot
*Window sills: 250 mcg/ square foot.
*Window wells: 400mcg/square foot


MORE THAN 100 SQUARE FEET OR REMOVING WINDOWS

When disturbing more than 100 square feet of lead paint in a room or removing 2 or more windows in an apartment, landlords must complete all of the steps below:

1.Hire a lead abatement firm certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Workers must have completed a training course in lead-safe work practices developed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or be EPA-certified lead-abatement workers.

2. Before work begins, landlords must:

a)     File notice of commencement of work with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) 10 days before work begins.
b)     Post notice of commencement of work outside the apartment and at the building entrance.
c)      Entrances and doorways in the work area must be sealed off with plastic sheeting, and
d)     Wherever plastic sheeting is required, two layers of 6-mil plastic sheeting must be used instead of one layer.



ADDITIONAL INFORMATION YOU NEED TO KNOW


1.    Our roof is caving in and could be a life-threatening catastrophe if not fixed.
2.    We have mold issues, especially tenants on the 5th floor. And possible mold issues in all of our bathrooms (every tenant).

3. There are 2 commercial units on the first floor. These apartments have been illegally converted into office use. One is occupied by ABC Properties' onsite broker (Immac Realty); and the other is occupied by a Tarot Card Reader. PLEASE NOTE: The landlord needs to obtain a CERTIFICATE of OCCUPANCY -- in order to transform 2 apartments (or any apartment) into a commercial establishment. THERE IS NO record of ABC Properties ever doing this. 

     a) Anyone can gain access in our building or our apartments by going into these illegal offices. THIS NEEDS TO BE REMEDIED. 


4. OUR BUILDING SHAKES, VIBRATES, and cracks are appearing everywhere. **** This is needs immediate attention or the building may collapse ****


NOTE: I have compiled additional information on your rights as a tenant below. I highly recommend you read through this information.



TENANT’S RIGHTS


New York State enacted the Multiple Dwelling Laws to protect tenants, their families and guests almost 100 years ago.  However, many landlords still fail to provide safe housing, resulting in countless unnecessary injuries and deaths every year.

As a tenant in New York City you have the right to a safe, decent home. That means you are entitled to basic services needed to live comfortably throughout every season and that your landlord has a legal duty to provide them.
Duty to Repair
Landlords must keep the apartments and the building’s public areas in “good repair” and clean and free of vermin, garbage or other offensive material. Landlords are required to maintain electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating and ventilating systems and appliances landlords install, such as refrigerators and stoves, in good and safe working order. Landlords are also required to install functioning smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in all apartments.

Lead Paint
Lead paint can be a severe health hazard to you and your family. As a result, it is your landlord’s duty to ensure that your apartment is clear of lead paint hazards. In performing any work that disturbs lead paint in applicable apartments and common areas, a landlord must hire workers who have completed a training course in lead-safe work practices. Landlords must remove or permanently cover apartment walls and other areas where lead based paint is peeling. Landlords must keep records of all notices, inspections, and repairs of lead paint hazards and provide every tenant with an informational pamphlet from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.


People get injured by tripping or slipping due to defective conditions. Ceilings collapse and injure us.  Inadequate security creates opportunities that causes and allows criminals to injure us. Children get poisoned and suffer permanent neurological and neuropsychological injuries by illegal lead based paint. Defective elevators harm us.  Sadly, the list goes on.

Mult. Dwelling Law §  78 provides that:  Every  multiple  dwelling, including its roof or roofs, and every part thereof and the lot upon  which  it  is  situated, shall  be  kept  in  good  repair. 

The owner shall be responsible for compliance with the provisions of this section.
Mult. Dwelling Law §  80 provides:  

The owner shall keep all and every part of a multiple dwelling, the lot on which  it  is  situated,  and  the roofs, yards,  courts, passages, areas or alleys appurtenant thereto, clean and free from  vermin,  dirt,  filth,  garbage  or  other  thing  or  matter dangerous to life or health.


Some of the typical acts of negligence that can be a substantial contributing factor in causing death, rape, assault, broken bones and fractures, burn injuries, lead poisoning, and more are:
  • Broken or defective stairs and insufficient stairwell lighting
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Missing or inadequate handrails
  • Broken or uneven floors and walking surfaces
  • Falling ceilings
  • Unsafe elevators that mis-level, have broken door sensors, over-speed/freefall, get stuck between floors
  • Leaks
  • Rats and vermin
  • Faulty wiring and electrical installations
  • Inadequate Fire protection
  • Unmaintained fire prevention and warning devices, smoke detectors or sprinkler systems
  • Old and Illegal Lead-based paint and asbestos poisoning
  • Toxic mold or fumes
  • Broken doors, locks, and intercoms
  • Inadequate security
  • Cracked, broken windows
  • Failure to use safety glass
  • Failure to install window guards
  • Failure to properly maintain adequate fires escapes
  • Broken, cracked or uneven sidewalks
  • Failure to properly clean and inadequate sanitation
  • Building and safety code violations
The following are just some of the reasonable precautions and steps that should be taken, negligent landlords chose not to take:
  • Proper and adequate Safety Inspections performed on a regular and routine basis, and follow-up inspections with the use of written checklists to see if there are any potentially unsafe conditions, and to ensure that proper repairs are promptly made
  • Placement of proper and adequate warnings devices, signs, barriers and barricades
  • Proper and adequate staffing and training, supervision and monitoring of staff, managing agents and premises
  • Listening to and properly and promptly responding to complaints, and keeping proper and adequate records of complaints and follow-ups to them and repairs
  • Adequate screening must be done to identify employees or tenants in a residential complex that could have a criminal background and place other tenants at risk
  • Precautions should be taken according to law regarding animals on the premises that might endanger tenants
  • Doors, locks, intercoms, windows, roofs, fire escapes, fences and gates must be built, inspected and maintained according to regulations and building codes
  • Stairwells, steps, floors, walkways, courtyards, lobbies, laundry rooms, roofs, sidewalks must be built and maintained according to regulations and building codes
  • Environmental and health hazards such as exposure to lead paint and rental property fixtures in need of repair are also prosecutable if they lead to injuries
  • The landlord is responsible for ensuring that all staff maintain a safe environment for tenants, such as janitors placing ‘Wet Floor’ signs where necessary to avoid slip-and-fall injuries
  • Hiring Safety Consultants, Engineers, Architects and experts before injury occurs to see how to prevent needless harm from occurring
  • Joining Safety Associations and learning and becoming familiar with good and acceptable safety standards, practices and procedures, and the adhering to these standards

 Potentially dangerous conditions:
  • Broken gates, locks and intercoms
  • Broken windows
  • Broken fire escapes
  • Leaking roofs
  • Missing or defective smoke detectors;
  • Broken sprinklers
  • Expired or inadequate fire extinguishers
  • Defective old wiring
  • Inadequate walls, floors, ceilings and door that lack proper fire resistance
  • Broken doors, stairs, walking surfaces, lights, handrails
  • Unsanitary and unsafe conditions due in landlord’s failure to clean, such as rats, vermin and infestation of insects

IN SUMMARY

Tenants' Rights

As a tenant in New York City you have the right to a safe, decent home. That means you are entitled to basic services needed to live comfortably throughout every season and that your landlord has a legal duty to provide them.

Heat & Hot Water
Building owners are legally required to provide heat during the winter season (from October 1st through May 31st) and hot water year-round.

Duty to Repair
Landlords must keep the apartments and the building’s public areas in “good repair” and clean and free of vermin, garbage or other offensive material. Landlords are required to maintain electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating and ventilating systems and appliances landlords install, such as refrigerators and stoves, in good and safe working order. Landlords are also required to install functioning smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in all apartments.

Lead Paint
Lead paint can be a severe health hazard to you and your family. As a result, it is your landlord’s duty to ensure that your apartment is clear of lead paint hazards. In performing any work that disturbs lead paint in applicable apartments and common areas, a landlord must hire workers who have completed a training course in lead-safe work practices. Landlords must remove or permanently cover apartment walls and other areas where lead based paint is peeling. Landlords must keep records of all notices, inspections, and repairs of lead paint hazards and provide every tenant with an informational pamphlet from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Entering Your Home & Unlawful Eviction
In general in New York City, a landlord may only enter a tenant’s apartment for three reasons: emergency repairs, non-emergency repairs or improvements, andapartment inspections. Emergency repair requires no advance notice to the tenant.However, access for non-emergency repairs and improvements requires a minimum ofone week’s advance written notice, and access for inspection requires a minimum of 24 hours advance written notice.
A landlord may not evict a tenant from his or her apartment without a proper warrant of eviction. If the landlord changes the locks to your apartment and does not provide you with a new key, it is considered an unlawful eviction and should be reported to your local police precinct or brought to the New York City Housing Court. For more information:http://www.courts.state.ny.us/courts/nyc/housing/illegal.shtml

Reporting a Problem in Your Apartment
New York City tenants are entitled to safe, decent housing. Their landlords, in turn, are required by law to provide the basic essential services that tenants need to live comfortably. If a landlord fails to provide such services or to repair poor living conditions, a tenant may report the problem to the City's Citizen Service Center by calling 311 (311 can be accessed outside of New York City by dialing 212-NEW-YORK). For the hearing impaired, the TTY number is (212) 504-4115. The Center is open 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

Emergency Conditions
If the problem you report is an emergency (e.g. severe leak, mold, or dangerous structural defect), the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) will send a uniformed Code Enforcement Inspector to the apartment to verify the reported conditions. The inspector will then provide the tenant with the following materials:
·                                 A summary of issued violations
·                                 A complaint number
·                                 The date of inspection

·                                 The inspector's badge number

143 West 69 Street Tenants Notice

December 9, 2014

To: All Residents of 143 West 69th Street
From: Kirby Sommers #5G
Re: Tenant Rights and Landlord Responsibilities

Dear Neighbors,

As you know ABC Properties has been changing the windows in our apartments. The workers who have been performing this work are:

1.      Unlicensed and in many cases they are day workers who are illegal immigrants, are not bonded (so things can go missing in your apartment and you have zero remedy), and cannot speak English.
2.      Because these workers are unlicensed they do not know how to properly follow safety rules which means they have created hazardous health and safety conditions to the residents of this building. (LANDLORD (ABC PROPERTIES) RESPONSIBLE for this.

I have compiled the following information. I also contacted DEP (Department of Environment Protection) last week on December 3, 2014. They responded immediately (within 20 minutes of my phone call).

When the DEP inspector arrived, NO ONE ALLOWED HER to access the two apartments where Francisco and his men (possibly all day laborers) – were replacing windows. These apartments included #1B and #4B (Francisco, btw, lives in an uptown building also owned by ABC Properties).

I tried to help the DEP inspector by contacting Ian DeFronze, as well as our super, Max to help the inspector gain access. NO ONE RESPONDED TO THIS EMERGENCY REQUEST.

PURPOSE: To form a TENANTS ASSOCIATION where we can come together as a group and keep us safe from deceptive and illegal landlord practices and to help protect us against injuries caused by neglectful practices.

I can be reached via email (on subject please write TENANTS ASSOCIATION):

kirbysommers@aol.com or tel: 212.787.8726

(Please DO NOT just knock on my door).

I will contact you re our FIRST TENANTS ASSOCIATION MEETING shortly….please respond via email if you wish to become part of the Tenants Association of 143 West 69 Street (we may include tenants from 2020 Broadway)


WHY IS THIS A PROBLEM?

LEAD PAINT, ASBESTOS, HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS

Rules for Repair and Renovation Work:

When landlords have work done in apartments, such as fixing plumbing, painting a room, or replacing windows, certain requirements apply.

BETWEEN 2 AND 100 SQUARE FEET

When disturbing between 2 and 100 square feet of lead paint in a room, landlords must complete all of the following steps:


1. Hire trained workers

Workers must have completed a training course in lead-safe work practices by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Lead abatement workers certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may also be hired.


2. Post Warning Signs outside the work area

a)     The contractor must post the signs and make sure they stay in place until the work is done.
b)     The signs must say: WARNING: LEAD WORK AREA-POISON-NO SMOKING OR EATING
c)      The landlord and the contractor must tell tenants to stay out of the work area.


3. Prepare the area before starting work.

The work area must be cleaned, cleared, and sealed off from the rest of the apartment so that lead dust does not escape from the work area.

a)     All floors, furniture, draperies, and other items in the work area must be HEPA-vacuumed (High Efficiency Particulate Air) or washed.
b)     Movable items, once cleaned, may be removed from the work area.
c)      One layer of plastic sheeting and waterproof tape must be used to cover and seal floors, windows, vents and items in the work area.

4. Clean-up every day.

a)     At the end of each work day, the work area must be thoroughly HEPA-vacuumed and wet-mopped.
b)     All work materials must be stored away from occupants, in sealed containers, or removed from the premises.
c)      Daily inspections must ensure that no dust or debris is tracked out of the work area.

5. Do a final clean-up.

a)     Final clean-up must be completed before surfaces are repainted.
b)     When the work is finished, all plastic sheeting must be removed safely. Plastic sheeting must be sprayed with water mist and all debris safely discarded. Plastic must then be folded carefully and sealed in heavy-duty plastic bags.
c)      All surfaces – including ceilings, walls, windows, floors, and furniture – must be HEPA-vacuumed, washed, and HEPA-vacuumed again.
d)     The work area must be inspected when the clean-up is finished. If dust and debris remain, the area must be re-cleand.

6. Take ‘clearance dust wipes’. Clearance dust wipes must be done to ensure proper clean-up.

a)     Landlords must hire a qualified, third party individual (independent of the landlord and contractor) to make a visual inspection and take clearance dust wipes.
b)     Three dust wipe samples must be collected from every room or area where work has been done: one from a window well, one from a window sill, and one from the floor. (If the room has no window, then only a floor sample must be taken.)
c)      In addition, one wipe sample must be taken from the floor in a room or area next to the work area.
d)     Dust wipe results must be less than the following levels if not, clean-up and dust wipe testing must be repeated.
*Floors: 40 mcg/ square foot
*Window sills: 250 mcg/ square foot.
*Window wells: 400mcg/square foot


MORE THAN 100 SQUARE FEET OR REMOVING WINDOWS

When disturbing more than 100 square feet of lead paint in a room or removing 2 or more windows in an apartment, landlords must complete all of the steps below:

1.Hire a lead abatement firm certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Workers must have completed a training course in lead-safe work practices developed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or be EPA-certified lead-abatement workers.

2. Before work begins, landlords must:

a)     File notice of commencement of work with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) 10 days before work begins.
b)     Post notice of commencement of work outside the apartment and at the building entrance.
c)      Entrances and doorways in the work area must be sealed off with plastic sheeting, and
d)     Wherever plastic sheeting is required, two layers of 6-mil plastic sheeting must be used instead of one layer.



ADDITIONAL INFORMATION YOU NEED TO KNOW


1.    Our roof is caving in and could be a life-threatening catastrophe if not fixed.
2.    We have mold issues, especially tenants on the 5th floor. And possible mold issues in all of our bathrooms (every tenant).


OUR BUILDING SHAKES, VIBRATES, and cracks are appearing everywhere. **** This is needs to be remedied or the building may collapse ****


NOTE: I have compiled additional information on your rights as a tenant below. I highly recommend you read through this information.



TENANT’S RIGHTS


New York State enacted the Multiple Dwelling Laws to protect tenants, their families and guests almost 100 years ago.  However, many landlords still fail to provide safe housing, resulting in countless unnecessary injuries and deaths every year.

As a tenant in New York City you have the right to a safe, decent home. That means you are entitled to basic services needed to live comfortably throughout every season and that your landlord has a legal duty to provide them.
Duty to Repair
Landlords must keep the apartments and the building’s public areas in “good repair” and clean and free of vermin, garbage or other offensive material. Landlords are required to maintain electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating and ventilating systems and appliances landlords install, such as refrigerators and stoves, in good and safe working order. Landlords are also required to install functioning smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in all apartments.

Lead Paint
Lead paint can be a severe health hazard to you and your family. As a result, it is your landlord’s duty to ensure that your apartment is clear of lead paint hazards. In performing any work that disturbs lead paint in applicable apartments and common areas, a landlord must hire workers who have completed a training course in lead-safe work practices. Landlords must remove or permanently cover apartment walls and other areas where lead based paint is peeling. Landlords must keep records of all notices, inspections, and repairs of lead paint hazards and provide every tenant with an informational pamphlet from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.


People get injured by tripping or slipping due to defective conditions. Ceilings collapse and injure us.  Inadequate security creates opportunities that causes and allows criminals to injure us. Children get poisoned and suffer permanent neurological and neuropsychological injuries by illegal lead based paint. Defective elevators harm us.  Sadly, the list goes on.

Mult. Dwelling Law §  78 provides that:  Every  multiple  dwelling, including its roof or roofs, and every part thereof and the lot upon  which  it  is  situated, shall  be  kept  in  good  repair. 

The owner shall be responsible for compliance with the provisions of this section.
Mult. Dwelling Law §  80 provides:  

The owner shall keep all and every part of a multiple dwelling, the lot on which  it  is  situated,  and  the roofs, yards,  courts, passages, areas or alleys appurtenant thereto, clean and free from  vermin,  dirt,  filth,  garbage  or  other  thing  or  matter dangerous to life or health.


Some of the typical acts of negligence that can be a substantial contributing factor in causing death, rape, assault, broken bones and fractures, burn injuries, lead poisoning, and more are:
  • Broken or defective stairs and insufficient stairwell lighting
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Missing or inadequate handrails
  • Broken or uneven floors and walking surfaces
  • Falling ceilings
  • Unsafe elevators that mis-level, have broken door sensors, over-speed/freefall, get stuck between floors
  • Leaks
  • Rats and vermin
  • Faulty wiring and electrical installations
  • Inadequate Fire protection
  • Unmaintained fire prevention and warning devices, smoke detectors or sprinkler systems
  • Old and Illegal Lead-based paint and asbestos poisoning
  • Toxic mold or fumes
  • Broken doors, locks, and intercoms
  • Inadequate security
  • Cracked, broken windows
  • Failure to use safety glass
  • Failure to install window guards
  • Failure to properly maintain adequate fires escapes
  • Broken, cracked or uneven sidewalks
  • Failure to properly clean and inadequate sanitation
  • Building and safety code violations
The following are just some of the reasonable precautions and steps that should be taken, negligent landlords chose not to take:
  • Proper and adequate Safety Inspections performed on a regular and routine basis, and follow-up inspections with the use of written checklists to see if there are any potentially unsafe conditions, and to ensure that proper repairs are promptly made
  • Placement of proper and adequate warnings devices, signs, barriers and barricades
  • Proper and adequate staffing and training, supervision and monitoring of staff, managing agents and premises
  • Listening to and properly and promptly responding to complaints, and keeping proper and adequate records of complaints and follow-ups to them and repairs
  • Adequate screening must be done to identify employees or tenants in a residential complex that could have a criminal background and place other tenants at risk
  • Precautions should be taken according to law regarding animals on the premises that might endanger tenants
  • Doors, locks, intercoms, windows, roofs, fire escapes, fences and gates must be built, inspected and maintained according to regulations and building codes
  • Stairwells, steps, floors, walkways, courtyards, lobbies, laundry rooms, roofs, sidewalks must be built and maintained according to regulations and building codes
  • Environmental and health hazards such as exposure to lead paint and rental property fixtures in need of repair are also prosecutable if they lead to injuries
  • The landlord is responsible for ensuring that all staff maintain a safe environment for tenants, such as janitors placing ‘Wet Floor’ signs where necessary to avoid slip-and-fall injuries
  • Hiring Safety Consultants, Engineers, Architects and experts before injury occurs to see how to prevent needless harm from occurring
  • Joining Safety Associations and learning and becoming familiar with good and acceptable safety standards, practices and procedures, and the adhering to these standards

 Potentially dangerous conditions:
  • Broken gates, locks and intercoms
  • Broken windows
  • Broken fire escapes
  • Leaking roofs
  • Missing or defective smoke detectors;
  • Broken sprinklers
  • Expired or inadequate fire extinguishers
  • Defective old wiring
  • Inadequate walls, floors, ceilings and door that lack proper fire resistance
  • Broken doors, stairs, walking surfaces, lights, handrails
  • Unsanitary and unsafe conditions due in landlord’s failure to clean, such as rats, vermin and infestation of insects

IN SUMMARY

Tenants' Rights

As a tenant in New York City you have the right to a safe, decent home. That means you are entitled to basic services needed to live comfortably throughout every season and that your landlord has a legal duty to provide them.

Heat & Hot Water
Building owners are legally required to provide heat during the winter season (from October 1st through May 31st) and hot water year-round.

Duty to Repair
Landlords must keep the apartments and the building’s public areas in “good repair” and clean and free of vermin, garbage or other offensive material. Landlords are required to maintain electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating and ventilating systems and appliances landlords install, such as refrigerators and stoves, in good and safe working order. Landlords are also required to install functioning smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in all apartments.

Lead Paint
Lead paint can be a severe health hazard to you and your family. As a result, it is your landlord’s duty to ensure that your apartment is clear of lead paint hazards. In performing any work that disturbs lead paint in applicable apartments and common areas, a landlord must hire workers who have completed a training course in lead-safe work practices. Landlords must remove or permanently cover apartment walls and other areas where lead based paint is peeling. Landlords must keep records of all notices, inspections, and repairs of lead paint hazards and provide every tenant with an informational pamphlet from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Entering Your Home & Unlawful Eviction
In general in New York City, a landlord may only enter a tenant’s apartment for three reasons: emergency repairs, non-emergency repairs or improvements, andapartment inspections. Emergency repair requires no advance notice to the tenant.However, access for non-emergency repairs and improvements requires a minimum ofone week’s advance written notice, and access for inspection requires a minimum of 24 hours advance written notice.
A landlord may not evict a tenant from his or her apartment without a proper warrant of eviction. If the landlord changes the locks to your apartment and does not provide you with a new key, it is considered an unlawful eviction and should be reported to your local police precinct or brought to the New York City Housing Court. For more information:http://www.courts.state.ny.us/courts/nyc/housing/illegal.shtml

Reporting a Problem in Your Apartment
New York City tenants are entitled to safe, decent housing. Their landlords, in turn, are required by law to provide the basic essential services that tenants need to live comfortably. If a landlord fails to provide such services or to repair poor living conditions, a tenant may report the problem to the City's Citizen Service Center by calling 311 (311 can be accessed outside of New York City by dialing 212-NEW-YORK). For the hearing impaired, the TTY number is (212) 504-4115. The Center is open 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

Emergency Conditions
If the problem you report is an emergency (e.g. severe leak, mold, or dangerous structural defect), the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) will send a uniformed Code Enforcement Inspector to the apartment to verify the reported conditions. The inspector will then provide the tenant with the following materials:
·                                 A summary of issued violations
·                                 A complaint number
·                                 The date of inspection
·                                 The inspector's badge number