Being a landlord in New York can be a lucrative endeavor. However, landlords also have responsibilities to tenants. Specifically, landlords have to make sure their property is kept safe, is up to code and that necessary repairs are timely made. The following are some tips for landlords when it comes to the safety and upkeep of their properties.
Regularly inspect your rental properties
First, landlords should regularly perform inspections of their rental property, keeping an eye out for any dangerous conditions and ensuring the building is up to code. This is important because if a tenant is injured by a dangerous condition on the rental property it is possible that the landlord could be held liable in some situations. Specifically, landlords may incur liability if:
- They recklessly or intentionally created the dangerous condition;
- They were unreasonably careless;
- The premises are in violation of health and safety regulations;
- They did not make certain repairs; or
- The premises are uninhabitable
Ensure your rental properties are habitable and make repairs
Similarly, landlords need to make repairs when necessary to ensure the premises are fit for occupancy. This duty is legally known as the “implied warranty of habitability.” In general, rental property needs to have adequate heating, plumbing, electricity and gas. Tenants can take action against a landlord if a landlord fails to make repairs regarding these basic features or repairs on other necessary fixtures on the rental property.
Keep your rental premises safe from crime
In addition, landlords need to be aware if the tenant is breaking the law on the rental premises or if there is criminal activity going on in the area where the rental property is located. Landlords can be liable to neighbors if tenants are breaking the law, and landlords have a duty to protect tenants from criminals that might try to enter the rental property. This may mean keeping a written record of crimes committed on the premises and ensuring suitable locks and lighting are installed on the premises.
Landlords have many duties as owners of rental properties. If they are careless or ignore repairs or safety concerns, they could face liability. This post is for informational purposes only, so landlords who want to learn more about their legal duties will want to seek professional advice.