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Know your rights as a tenant

If you live in a New York City apartment, loft or other rental property, you may have your own “landlord horror stories.” While not every landlord is a nightmare to deal with, there are some landlords who jeopardize their tenants’ safety by failing to maintain the premises.

Because decent, affordable housing is at such a premium in the Big Apple, many tenants feel like they have to put up with a negligent landlord or building super. But it’s vital that tenants realize that they have rights in the matter.

There are many ways that landlords can be remiss in their duties to maintain the safety of the premises. Maybe they turn a blind eye to drug dealers in the building or don’t have accessible fire escapes installed. Another concern is elevator maintenance and repairs. If the landlord doesn’t get regular inspections done on all of the elevators and/or fails to use certified repair persons to fix any that break, it could be tragic.

Tenant safety should always be foremost. Doors should securely lock on each apartment unit, stairways and halls should be well-lit and free of trash or debris that could present tripping hazards. Entrance areas should be kept shoveled and de-iced in the winter and any hedges or shrubbery near the doors should be kept trimmed low enough that criminals can’t hide behind them.

These are just some of the obligations of a landlord to the tenants. Tenants should have a way to report maintenance issues and the problems should be resolved within a reasonable period of time. Tenants have some responsibilities, like the duty to inform their landlords, property managers or maintenance crews about potential hazards in their apartments or their buildings’ common areas.

But some tenants learn that their notifications and complaints fall on deaf ears. Repairs either don’t get made at all or are shabbily done and don’t fix the problems. A tenant or a tenants’ guest could wind up injured as a result.

If a landlord or building manager’s negligence in maintaining the property was the cause of injuries to you or your children, you have options available to you for seeking recourse. You first need to initiate the claims process with the insurer of the property. Should that not resolve the matter to your satisfaction, a New York City attorney may be able to file a premise liability lawsuit on your behalf.

Source: FindLaw, “Tenant Safety and Landlord Liability,” accessed March 23, 2018

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$1.475 Million

for a Carpenter who was injured when the scaffold he was working upon collapsed.

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$1.2 Million

for a 35 year old Cement and Concrete worker from Queens who sustained serious injuries to his back when he slipped on debris and refuse.

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$1.2 Million

for a Construction worker and young father in the Bronx who was fatally electrocuted while on a scaffold.

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$950,000

for two sisters in high school who sustained serious injuries when struck by a vehicle that mounted the sidewalk in Brooklyn as they waited for the bus to take them to school.

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$825,000

for a woman injured as a passenger in an accident involving a bus and a car in the Bronx.

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$777,000

for an Ironworker on Long Island who sustained serious injuries when he fell from a ladder which slid out from under him due to icy footing.

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$750,000

for a surgeon who sustained a broken knee in a motor vehicle accident (January, 2017).

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$750,000

for a man severely burned in his apartment by excessively hot shower water (Sept. 2020).

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$660,000

verdict for a 35 year old Cement and Concrete laborer who was injured when the scaffold he was walking upon collapsed.

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$650,000

for a cement and concrete worker who slipped and fell over construction debris.

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$650,000

for a Cement and Concrete worker who injured his back as a result of slipping upon a discarded pipe and falling down a flight of steps.

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$500,000

for a Nursing Home resident injured due to lack of proper care.

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$325,000

for a woman who sustained multiple serious injuries to her shoulder as a result of a trip and fall upon a defective sidewalk at a construction project in Manhattan.

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$250,000

verdict in the exact amount demanded by our office for our client, but refused by the responsible defendants, was awarded by the jury to our client who sustained a fractured elbow as a result of a fall upon a badly broken sidewalk.

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$325,000

for a young woman who sustained a fractured ankle as a result of a fall on soapy steps in her apartment building in the Bronx.

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$495,000

for a young mother who was struck by a car while crossing the street near her home in Queens sustaining serious injuries to her leg requiring the surgical placement of a metal plate and screws.

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$600,000

for a woman who sustained multiple injuries as a passenger in a motor vehicle accident.

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$425,000

was secured by our office for a Cement and Concrete worker injured when a work area collapsed beneath him.

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$400,000

for a woman struck from behind by a car as she walked to a supermarket in a shopping center parking lot in Yonkers.

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$200,000

for a young man, 15 years of age, who sustained a partial tear of the rotator cuff of his right shoulder, which has now healed without any limitation upon his activities.

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$325,000

for a school principal in the Bronx who tripped and fell over a construction plate in the school parking lot.

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$300,000

for a young Cement and Concrete worker who was struck by falling debris dislodged from a building by a swinging crane.

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$250,000

for a Cement and Concrete worker injured as a result of a fall at a Manhattan construction site.

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$300,000

for a school teacher in the Bronx who sustained an injury to her shoulder when she tripped and fell due to negligently placed computer wiring.

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$275,000

to a Construction laborer doing bridge work whose arm was fractured when falling construction material caused him to fall into the East River and onto debris.

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$450,000

for a child injured when a table fell on him in a laundromat in Queens.

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$450,000

verdict for a Volunteer Firefighter in Westchester who sustained injuries in the course of fighting a fire.

Verdicts & Settlements

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