You have the right to safe housing that meets the quality standards set by New York City Housing Preservation and Development. If you experience an injury or become ill because of the conditions in your apartment, your landlord may have legal responsibility.
Review the factors that apply to legal claims against the property owner after a serious injury in a rental unit.
Understanding landlord responsibilities
The city requires landlords to maintain safe and habitable dwellings. This includes adequate lighting, heat, hot water, cold water and security provisions. If your landlord fails to do so, start by requesting repairs in writing, then file a complaint with HPD. If you become injured at your home, you must have documentation to sue the property owner for negligence.
Examples of accidents in which your landlord may have legal liability include:
- Fall from a window that does not have a required window guard
- Smoke inhalation or carbon monoxide poisoning in an apartment without working detectors
- Illness caused by unaddressed mold growth, lead paint or pest infestations
- Fall in a public area without proper lighting, hazard signage or floor maintenance
Reviewing negligence standards
If you file a lawsuit after this type of injury, you must show that the injury resulted from the conditions in the apartment. You must also prove that the landlord knew about the issue and failed to fix it. Finally, you must also provide evidence of financial damages stemming from the incident, including medical expenses and loss of employment.
You have three years from the incident date to file this type of lawsuit in New York City. Different guidelines apply if you live in public housing.