Waiving Window Guard Requirement

May 22, 2018 | By Charles Botensten

Q. I am representing a tenant who is leasing an apartment. The tenant has a 9 year old child residing in her apartment, but does not (for a number of reasons) want to have window guards installed. May she waive the requirement?

A. No, a tenant cannot waive the window guard requirement. Under the New York City Health Code, a tenant with children 10 years old or younger living in his or her apartment, must have window guards installed. A tenant may not refuse the installation of window guards or remove window guards after their installation. This is a requirement; it is in no way optional.

A landlord is the party responsible for installing the window guards. Under the New York City Health and Administrative codes and related regulations, landlords in New York City must install window guards (i) in any multiple dwelling (defined as a building that contains 3 or more apartments) in which a child ten years of age or younger resides and (ii) in apartments where the tenant requests window guards, even if a child 10 years of age or younger does not reside in the apartment.  Window guards must be installed in all windows except windows that open onto fire escapes and windows on the first floor that are required secondary exits in a building in which there are fire escapes on the second floor and up. 

Important Tip:  The aforementioned requirements also extend to an owner of a dwelling unit in a multiple dwelling owned as a condo, where that unit is leased to a tenant. 

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