According to MarketProof.com, a real estate data and analytics company, there are almost 825,000 residential buildings in New York City, comprising more than 1.4 million condo, co-op, and apartment units. There’s no doubt that, at least for some residents of these structures, multi-unit living has its perks and conveniences. Occupants have access to multiple amenities, such as pools, fitness centers, parking facilities, and green spaces that they wouldn’t be available through other accommodation options in the city. Plus, residents can rest easy knowing that a landlord or property management company is tasked with building maintenance and safety.
Unfortunately, not all owners and others in control of the property take their responsibilities seriously. When they don’t live up to their duty to keep the space safe, residents, guests, and others are at risk of injury-causing accidents. The good news is that the laws protect you if you’re a victim of an incident linked to dangerous conditions on property, and a New York apartment building accidents lawyer can assist with the legal process. You might also find it useful to review some important information about your rights.
Liability for Dangerous Conditions at NYC Apartment Complexes: All property owners are legally obligated to ensure the premises is safe, whether the space is a store, restaurant, tourist attraction, or apartment building. When they don’t comply with this duty, they can be held accountable for injuries under the concept of premises liability. Tenants, guests, visitors, and others who are legally present on the property may sue for negligence, i.e., the failure to keep the space in a reasonably safe condition.
In addition, a claim for premises liability may also arise out of a breach of statutory duty. There are multiple laws property owners must obey, including regulations established by the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Apartment building owners and property managers are required to strictly comply with these laws, which cover everything from implementing security measures and sanitation to making repairs and maintaining common areas. Those in control of apartment structures must also ensure that basic equipment is present and functional, such as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. Violations of building codes and related laws are also a form of negligence, but they’re termed negligence per se – inherently dangerous without additional proof.
Examples of Breach by Apartment Building Owners: To better understand how owners of apartment complexes can be liable for negligence, some examples may be illustrative. A property owner may breach the duty to keep the premises reasonably safe by:
- Not installing proper lighting in hallways, staircases, and other common areas;
- Neglecting to keep spaces free of equipment, debris, and other obstacles;
- Failing to make repairs to broken railings, loose carpeting, unsecured wiring,
- Allowing pools or fitness centers to fall in disrepair;
- Not taking proper precaution to guard against known criminal activity in the apartment, parking lot or garage, and associated structures.
Still, you should note that there are some limitations on your rights in a premises liability case based upon an accident in an apartment complex. New York’s statute on contributory negligence applies to these claims, so your damages may be reduced if your own negligence was a factor in causing your injuries. Plus, if you were trespassing, you’re barred from recovering any compensation for your losses.
Speak to a New York Apartment Building Accidents Attorney for Free
If you were injured because of negligence by an apartment owner or other entity in control of the building, please contact The Mandel Law Firm to discuss your legal options with a member of our team. You can call our Manhattan office at (646) 770-3868 or go online to schedule a no-cost case evaluation. Our apartment building accidents lawyers can provide additional information after reviewing the details of your case.