Brooklyn Landlord Negligence Lawyer

As a tenant, you have certain rights in New York City. In fact, New York has some of the strictest tenants’ rights laws in the country. When your landlord fails to uphold his or her responsibilities to you, he or she may have violated these rights. Landlord negligence can also put the tenant at risk of being injured in an accident, becoming ill, or becoming a crime victim.

Tenants who suffer injuries, illnesses, and crimes due to security breaches in their apartments have the right to seek compensation from their landlords through landlord negligence claims. These are a type of premises liability claim because as the owner of the building, your landlord has the duty to all tenants and authorized visitors to maintain a safe premises.

Landlord Legal Responsibilities

In New York, landlords have the following responsibilities to their tenants:

  • The responsibility to maintain a habitable building. This means that the landlord must comply with New York’s implied warranty of habitability. Under this requirement, landlords must ensure that hot water and electricity are provided in their apartments. Apartments must also have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, be free of gas leaks, insects and other pests, and toxic fumes, and the walls, tiles, and ceilings must not be peeling or cracking, among other requirements;
  • Landlords must make certain disclosures to their tenants, such as where their security deposit is stored and whether there is lead paint in the apartment. If a child under the age of six lives in the apartment, the landlord must remove the lead paint using lead-safe work methods;
  • If there is an infestation in a building, the landlord must eliminate it;
  • Landlords may not retaliate against tenants for exercising their rights such as the right to file a landlord negligence claim
  • Prepare legal leases or rental agreements for their tenants. This means that they may not include illegal clauses in the leases, such as clauses waiving their responsibility to maintain a safe premises.

Landlords have other responsibilities to their tenants as well, such as the responsibility to comply with anti-discrimination laws and state rent laws. These are not connected to the safe premises of an apartment building, but they are important for tenants and prospective tenants to understand.

Suing your Landlord for Negligence

If you feel your landlord has created a safety hazard in your building through his or her negligence, that caused your injury, you have the right to take legal action. This can start with an anonymous claim with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).

In order for you to have a valid claim, your landlord must be aware of the issues in your apartment. When you first notice the problem, notify your landlord or his or her representative. If you do not do this, but an injury results from an issue that should have been discovered through routine maintenance anyway, your landlord could have “constructive notice” of the condition and you may proceed with your claim.

If you file a negligence claim against your landlord, bring all of the evidence you have to support your claim to court. This can include photographs of the hazardous condition, testimonies from neighbors, and the bodies of dead rodents or other pests found in the apartment. It is important to remember that you can only recover compensation for injuries caused by your landlord’s negligence. If you created a hazardous condition in your apartment, you cannot recover compensation for any damages that result from a related injury.

If the court finds that you have a valid claim, it may award you an abatement, or a reduction of your rent for a specified time period up to six years.

Landlord Negligence Claims

Your landlord is responsible for the safe maintenance inside your apartment as well as in common areas of the building. Broken lights in stairwells and common areas, broken steps, cluttered hallways, and leaking roofs are all examples of ways landlord negligence can create safety hazards for tenants outside their apartments. If your building has an elevator, the elevator cars must contain mirrors that allow entrants to see whether others are in them before entering the elevator cars.

If you choose to file a landlord negligence claim, you will need to provide evidence to show that there was a dangerous condition present in your apartment or common area of the building and your landlord failed to take care to acknowledge the condition or repair it. Through a landlord negligence claim, you can recover compensation for your medical bills, your lost wages due to leaving work to recover, the costs of a permanent disability due to an injury, your pain and suffering damages, and any damage to your personal property caused by an accident directly related to your landlord’s breach.

Work with an Experienced New York Landlord Negligence Lawyer

As a renter in New York City, you have the right to live in a clean, safe apartment building. If you are facing financial damages because of an act of negligence on the part of your landlord, you have the right to file a landlord negligence claim to seek monetary compensation for these damages with the aid of an experienced landlord negligence lawyer. To learn more, contact The Law Office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum at 718-237-5586 to schedule your initial consultation with us. During your consultation, we can go over all the aspects of your case to determine the most productive way for you to proceed with your claim.