If you have a child under the age of 10 living with you in a building with three or more apartments, New York City law requires all building owners to install window guards.
There has been a recent epidemic of accidents involving children falling from windows and sustaining severe and sometimes fatal injuries. These tragedies are fully preventable. Owners of buildings with three or more apartments are required by NYC Administrative Code §27-2043.1 to install window guards. Those who do not comply with this law risk receiving a violation subject to fines, and a heartbreaking accident on their hands.
What Type Of Windows Require Guards?
Windows of all types, including screened windows, must have a window guard, except those
- leading to fire escapes
- serving as secondary exit windows in first-floor apartments, and
- windows in which air conditioner units are permanently installed
Building owners are further required to install and maintain NYC Health Department approved window guards in public hallways and other building common areas where children age 10 or younger reside.
What Are Building Owners Required By Law To Provide To Their Tenants?
Building owners are required to send an Annual Notice to residents, inquiring whether children age 10 or younger live in the apartment. Individuals without children under the age of 10 are also entitled to request window guards for any reason. The Annual Notice is to be sent to residents in January of each year. With each new lease, building owners must inquire whether children live in the apartment by providing a Lease Notice to Tenant or Occupant.
Who Is Responsible For The Cost Of Window Guards?
Building owners are required to purchase all window guards for common areas. Owners are permitted to charge a one-time fee per guard but cannot charge for those previously installed in the apartment. Further, window guard charges should not be included in the base rental price and cannot exceed $10 per window guard for rent-controlled or rent-stabilized apartments.
What Should You Do If You Feel That Your Apartment Windows Are Unsafe For Your Child?
You can call 311 or file an online complaint to report any unguarded windows. In the event a child under the age of 16 falls from your apartment window, it is important to act quickly. Call 911 immediately and get the child all necessary medical care. All falls must be reported to the NYC Health Department within 24 hours of the incident. The premises liability attorneys at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green are here to support you through these tragedies, provide the legal expertise to establish liability, hold responsible parties accountable, and hopefully, to prevent future falls. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your case.