Real EstateThe right way to Make a Landlord Enhance Fireplace...

The right way to Make a Landlord Enhance Fireplace Security


Q: I’m involved about evacuation security in my 14-story Midtown rental constructing. The constructing has two passenger elevators and one service elevator. Just lately, employees started locking the service elevator at night time, leaving two working elevators for about 150 flats. I fear that we we’ll want all of the elevators in an emergency evacuation, as a result of the stairwells are usually not a dependable different for older residents — they’re usually darkish as a result of the sunshine bulbs burn out, and the treads are slender and slippery from high-gloss paint. Does administration have a duty to maintain our technique of egress secure and navigable, and to maintain all our elevators working frequently?

A: Within the occasion of an emergency, you shouldn’t use an elevator for evacuation. You need to use the steps. Dropping one in every of your three elevators at night time may be an inconvenience, but it surely doesn’t violate metropolis guidelines, which require buildings 5 tales or taller to have one working elevator.

The town code does, nonetheless, embody necessities about egress stairs in high-rise buildings, addressing their placement, dimensions and lighting. Should you suppose the steps pose a security hazard, file a grievance with 311, and a Buildings Division inspector can examine. You must also write a letter to constructing administration expressing your considerations in regards to the stairs, which places the constructing on discover, particularly if a number of tenants write comparable ones.

“If there have been to be an emergency state of affairs, if any person acquired harm, or worse, then the fallout from that’s going to lead to lawsuits which might be going to be focused at administration,” mentioned Maxwell Breed, an actual property lawyer on the Manhattan legislation agency Warshaw Burstein. If the constructing has been knowledgeable that its stairs violate metropolis security codes and doesn’t make the required repairs, “that might be an actual drawback when it comes to legal responsibility within the occasion of a catastrophic state of affairs.”

Whereas the out-of-commission service elevator doesn’t violate metropolis guidelines, any tenants within the constructing with rent-stabilized leases may file an software with the state for a discount in building-wide companies, and probably win a lease abatement.

“In the event that they actually felt aggrieved by it and it was one thing that has been traditionally obtainable to them, there may be a foundation for making a declare like that,” Mr. Breed mentioned. “I’ve seen thinner claims.”

For weekly electronic mail updates on residential actual property information, enroll right here. Comply with us on Twitter: @nytrealestate.


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