Q: I am a licensed real estate salesperson and I am representing a tenant who is leasing an apartment in a rental building in New York City. The tenant has requested that the apartment be equipped with a deadbolt and chain on the front door. Is the landlord obligated to provide such locks?
A: Yes, according to New York City Administrative Code (the “Code”), Title 27, Section 371, the Owner of a "Class A Multiple Dwelling" must equip the entrance door with: (i) a "heavy duty latch set and a heavy duty dead bolt operable by a key from the outside and a thumb turn from the inside," (ii) a "chain door guard which permits partial opening of the door," and (iii) a “viewing device located so as to enable a person on the inside of the entrance door to view a person immediately outside.”
The Code defines a "Class A Multiple Dwelling" as a multiple dwelling which is occupied for permanent residence purposes. Included in this definition are tenements, flat houses, apartment houses, apartment hotels, studio apartments, and duplex apartments.
Important Tip: We frequently receive questions regarding landlord-tenant issues. The New York State Attorney General publishes a “Tenant’s Rights Guide” which contains a good overview of laws governing the landlord-tenant relationship in New York State. Access the Attorney General’s publication. As always, a real estate licensee cannot provide legal advice to landlords or tenants. If a landlord or tenant has legal questions, such questions should be directed to an attorney who specializes in landlord-tenant matters.
The Legal Line Question by:
Neil B. Garfinkel
REBNY Broker Counsel
Partner-in-charge of real estate and banking practices at Abrams Garfinkel Margolis Bergson, LLP