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Landlords and Unsafe Living Environments in New York City

April 15 2020

Despite many detailed regulations, New York’s landlords continue to fall short of providing a safe living environment for their tenants. The news media repeatedly runs stories of landlords who break countless safety regulations, often getting away with what amounts to a slap on the wrist.

If you are living in unsafe housing conditions, you might be entitled to compensation for any injuries that you suffer. Please contact one of our NYC premises liability lawyers today to review your case.

Too Many Open Violations

The deplorable state of many rental units might be drawing the attention necessary for political change. According to the New York Post, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams has promised to crack down on some of the Big Apple’s worst landlords. He is proposing legislation to make buildings safer by increasing penalties for refusing to make critical repairs and limiting the ability of landlords to self-certify that they are in compliance.

 Other media reports bring news that landlords continue to violate safety regulations. One private landlord, for example, had nearly 2,900 open violations on his 16 rental properties in the city.

Public Housing is the Worst

By far, the worst landlord is the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), which has over 342,000 open violations. The agency was partially taken over by federal regulators last year in an attempt to induce compliance with safety regulations.

One problem is continued failure to eliminate lead paint from its units. NYCHA is definitely behind the ball since the agency is admitting that it will fail to inspect all 134,000 of its apartments for lead paint before the end of 2020.

Alarmingly, lead paint was found in 55% of all apartments that have so far been inspected. This paint must be removed safely so that it is not ingested by children, who can suffer developmental problems. The city has issued contradictory statements on the presence of lead paint in NYCHA apartments, such as claiming back in 2016 that lead paint was not used widely in public housing. The federal regulator, who recently issued a scathing complaint, has found that the city is not providing temporary shelter to those whose units are undergoing lead paint removal.

Tenants Have Legal Rights

If you or a loved one were injured in your apartment, you might be able to receive compensation. New York's premises liability law complements the many detailed housing regulations on the books. This body of law allows injured victims to sue for compensation when a dangerous condition on the property has injured them. If your child ingested lead paint and became sick, for example, you could sue for compensation.

Bringing a premises liability claim warrants hiring a seasoned attorney who isn’t afraid of the city’s largest landlords. These cases are distinct from any legal action taken by the city, so you need someone looking out for your best interests.

Call an NYC Premises Liability Lawyer Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation

Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman has held many landlords legally responsible when their dangerous apartments injure people. Call us at 212-285-3300 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation.