Deadbolts, Locks and Peepholes

February 12, 2018 | By Charles Botensten

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