For all the bad press New York City landlords sometimes unfairly get, there are far more diligent and responsible landlords who make timely repairs to make sure their tenants live in a safe environment.
Despite the best of intentions, however, safety breaches and unforeseen incidents can occur that lead to residents getting injured. To keep injuries at a minimum, it's helpful for the property management company or building superintendent to follow a clear list of safety and maintenance procedures.
Below are some priorities to put on the checklist:
- Do daily housekeeping. Don't allow dirt, debris or clutter to accumulate in the common areas or on the walkways.
- Test fire alams weekly. All fire detection equipment should be regularly monitored throughout the building.
- Repair, restore, replace. If it's broken, fix it. Worn floorboards or carpeting should be removed and replaced with fresh materials. Don't let burned-out bulbs remain in lighting fixtures inside or out.
- Prepare tenants. All residents should be familiar with emergency evacuation procedures. Also, put in place a system where residents can easily inform management about safety concerns and maintenance issues.
Even the most dedicated property owners and managers can be unaware of a problem until someone gets injured or killed in one of your properties. If that happens, you must be prepared to appropriately respond to the situation. This often includes consulting with an attorney who is familiar with lawyer-tenant disputes.
Sometimes, the problem might not even center around an injury or accident but involve a dispute with a tenant about a lease. Regardless, it is never wise to go about this blindly. Seeking the counsel of one who is well-versed in New York City real estate laws can leave you on solid legal footing.