When you rent a residence in the greater New York City region, you probably expect your landlord to keep the property in a safe condition. However, not all property owners care about the safety of their tenants.
If landlords fail to conduct proper maintenance at regular intervals, it could invite the element of crime into a neighborhood. When criminals realize they can break into a building, they may enter private residences to steal cash or goods to sell.
Who is responsible for residential crime injuries?
Most of those that break into a home are merely looking for something of value. However, if they encounter the resident, they may resort to violence. Your landlord may carry the responsibility for injuries suffered in a residential robbery or even a sexual assault if they failed to maintain the building.
Examples of improper maintenance include:
- Lack of barriers to entry. Your first line of defense from a home invasion is the inability of thieves to enter the building. New York landlords must install self-locking and self-closing automatic doors at all entrances to the structure if the tenants request such measures (you should!).
- Lack of locks and peephole. Should a criminal make it past the entrances, your door locks should prevent them from getting into your apartment. Landlords have a legal responsibility to install working chain-door guard locks and replace or repair broken locks. They must also place a peephole in every apartment door.
- Lack of proper lighting. Landlords must install adequate lighting in several areas of their buildings to deter crimes like assault (and robbery or theft). The areas that must contain proper lighting include entrances, yards and stairways. These lights must be on when it is dark, from sunrise to sunset.
Learning more about New York personal injury and premises liability laws can help you determine if your landlord is legally responsible for your residential injuries.