Snowy brownstone stairs in Brooklyn NY

Landlord Negligence in the Winter Months

It’s cold this time of year in New York. Temperatures drop below freezing, sometimes bringing ice, rain, winds and heavy snow.

The extreme weather conditions bring about concerns regarding snow, heating, and rodents, especially for tenants. Landlords have a responsibility to provide livable conditions for tenants. With the average apartment in New York City renting for roughly $3,000 a month, you’ll want to know what exactly you’re getting for that kind of money. Who is responsible for snow removal? Do you have to pay for pest control?

Landlords have certain responsibilities during the winter months. When they fail to live up to their obligations, tenants can suffer injuries from slips and falls and other situations. The landlords may then be held liable for negligence.

Snow Removal Responsibilities

 Landlord snow removal laws vary from state to state and in New York City especially, they are known to be strict. As detailed by the NYC Department of Sanitation, landlords must remove snow from sidewalks adjacent to their properties within four hours if snow stops falling between 7:00am and 4:49pm. If snow stops falling between 5:00pm and 8:59pm landlords must clear their property within fourteen hours. Finally, if snow stops falling between 9:00pm and 6:59am snow must be cleared by 11:00am the next day.

If you are walking on snowy sidewalks before landlords and/or property managers have had a chance to clear their areas please anticipate ice, walk slowly, and wear proper footwear. For more tips on how to navigate New York City’s winter weather read our blog on how to avoid black ice.

NYC Apartment Heating

 New York City has landlord heat requirements for most of the year. Between October 1 through May 31, the heating requirement varies by time of day. Between 6 a.m and 10 p.m., the inside temperature must be at least 68 degrees if the outside temperature is below 55 degrees. Between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., the inside temperature must be at least 62 degrees. No minimum outside temperature applies during these hours.

If you living arrangement does not meet the above requirements, call 311 to record the violation and consult a landlord negligence attorney on what next steps you may be able to take.

Winter Rodent Problems

Nobody wants to deal with a mouse problem any time of the year, especially winter. If you’re dealing with a situation involving mice or other pests, it’s important to let your landlord know. Your landlord generally will be responsible for paying for pest control, since pests in a home make it unlivable. It’s not a situation you can simply ignore.

Many landlords are prepared for the issue of pests, especially in cold areas, since mice and rodents will look for warmth in dwellings. Therefore, they may already have seasonal pest control in place.

If the infestation is due to natural circumstances, the landlord can be held responsible for taking care of the problem. Additionally, if the landlord had previously failed to repair a wall, ventilation system or roof lining and as a result, rodents found their way into your home, the landlord needs to arrange for and pay for the exterminator.

Get Legal Help from a Brooklyn Personal Injury Lawyer

A landlord’s negligence during the winter can lead to slips and falls and other situations that can cause serious injuries and even death. If you have suffered damages as a result, it’s important that you seek legal help and find out if you can hold your landlord responsible.

Landlord responsibilities vary from one area to another, so make sure you understand the laws that apply to you. Get help from The Law Office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum to determine your rights to compensation. Call our Brooklyn office at (718) 237-5586 to schedule a consultation.

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