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What safety issues are landlords responsible for?

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2023 | Landlord/Tenant Matters |

Renting a home in New York offers several advantages. For example, the landlord is responsible for several administrative and maintenance tasks. 

Thanks to the tenant protection law, it is required that landlords ensure the building or home is structurally sound and safe. This includes regular inspections and upkeep, which a typical homeowner must do. 

Even though not all types of maintenance are legally required, if a landlord fails or refuses to do some type of upkeep to keep the property safe, they may be violating the law. 

What is your landlord responsible for in your rental property?

Some of the maintenance issues landlords must address include the following:

  • Pests: If you report an issue with rodents, wasps, ants, termites or other insects and animals, the landlord must handle the issue. Sometimes, infestations can cause structural damage or health issues. Also, the landlord must address mold promptly if it is found.
  • Structural soundness: The ceilings, floors and walls of a building or home should be in good repair. If there are issues, repairs must be made by the landlord.
  • Heating and cooling: Issues with the heating and cooling system require service promptly. This is because the inability to regulate the temperature can be dangerous to tenants, especially during extreme temperatures.
  • Plumbing system: Landlords must address plumbing issues quickly, especially if they pose a risk to a tenant’s health (for example, sewage backup). The only exception is if the issue was caused by the tenant, in which case they may be responsible for repairs.

Tenants must take steps to protect their rights

Tenants need to report any issues immediately to their landlords. If the landlord fails to act, they may have a legal claim. Knowing the law and a tenant’s legal rights is beneficial.