Residential leases serve as a crucial form of protection for landlords and the tenants that lease their properties. The terms outlined in a New York lease can determine when a landlord has the right to evict someone and what amenities a tenant can expect.
However, sometimes, there can be illegal terms included in a residential lease that are not actually enforceable in civil court. Landlords may include certain terms in their leases that violate state law in the hopes of confusing their tenants about their rights or may fail to notice such clauses in their documents if they download boilerplate documents to serve as their lease forms.
If a landlord includes a clause absolving themselves of liability for any injuries that their tenants or their visitors suffer on the premises, is such a clause enforceable?
New York statute holds landlords responsible for negligence
State law is quite clear that no provisions in a lease absolve a landlord of the requirement to maintain safe and appropriate facilities for their tenants. If someone gets hurt due to omissions or negligence, which might include failing to maintain the property appropriately, the landlord can still face civil lawsuits and insurance claims despite including a provision intended to absolve them of such responsibility in their lease.
Anyone who provides housing to others must meet certain standards regarding the maintenance of the property to ensure the safety of the tenants and visitors. Those hurt due to inadequate maintenance may have grounds for an insurance claim or a civil lawsuit. Learning more about New York real estate laws can help landlords and tenants alike navigate a dispute.