Crime and Safety Laws for Apartment Residents Living in New York City

Apartment dwellers in New York City have laws that protect their safety and security as a tenant living in a particular apartment building or complex. These are state laws that all landlords must conform to or face possible legal actions. If you live in an apartment, there are ten primary provisions you should know about in order to better protect you, your family and your property.
  1. All landlords must have smoke detectors installed in each apartment. Smoke detectors need to be placed within 10 feet of bedrooms and should be kept in working order.
     
  2. For apartment buildings that were for sale or built after August 9, 2005, the state of New York requires landlords to install carbon monoxide detectors in bedrooms or rooms in which someone sleeps regularly. Additionally, landlords leasing out one or two family dwellings must place carbon monoxide detectors within 15 feet of a sleeping room's main entrance.
     
  3. New York State law mandates that all landlords must take reasonable steps to make sure tenants are protected from criminal activity. For example, broken windows and locks that do not work must be repaired or replaced in a timely manner.
     
  4. Apartment buildings converted or constructed after 1967 must have self-locking, self-closing entrance doors that are located in the front of the building. Doors need to remain locked 24 hours a day unless an attendant or security guard is on duty. Landlords are responsible for maintaining adequate lighting at all entrances as well.
     
  5. Apartment buildings converted into a multiple dwelling or constructed as a multiple dwelling after 1967 that contains at least eight units must be equipped with a two-way intercom system. This intercom system needs to allow tenants to talk to visitors in order to let them into the building.
     
  6. State law requires that the same kind of buildings described in the fifth law employ a lobby attendant who is responsible for the security and safety of the tenants.
     
  7. Elevators must have safety mirrors installed in them by landlords of apartment buildings containing elevators. Safety mirrors in self-service elevators are intended to allow you to readily see if someone is already on the elevator before you enter.
     
  8. While all apartment doors must have one lock in good working order, tenants are allowed to install another lock for extra security. Locks installed by a tenant must have a circumference size of less then three inches. Additionally, tenants must give landlords a duplicate key to this lock. Apartment dwellers should also be aware that landlords cannot make you pay extra fees or rent when you install additional locks on your doors.
     
  9. Peepholes are mandated by state law to be installed on all apartment doors in addition to chain guards, which allow tenants to open their front door a few inches but remain secured behind the door due to the chain guard preventing the door from being fully opened.
     
  10. Buildings with three or more apartments must provide secure mailboxes for each tenant living in the building. Landlords are responsible for seeing that mailbox locks are working as well to prevent theft of mail.

Living in New York City can be fascinating and fun but also potentially dangerous. Although most landlords follow state regulations by ensuring their tenants live in a secure building, renters should never rely on just one lock or one lobby attendant to prevent them from experiencing criminal activity.

Installing two or more locks on your apartment door can mean all the difference between suffering a frightening nighttime robbery or remaining sound asleep and safe in your bed.

Vertex provides a comprehensive variety of locks, deadbolts and other security devices that can give you the peace of mind you need to live comfortably protected in your New York City apartment.
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