Bringing Your Rental Property Up to Code

The law is specific when it comes to tenant-landlord relationships and responsibilities.  As a landlord, you are expected to provide a habitable living space for their tenant.  So what does it mean to be up to code?  Here are a few things you can do to catch you up and ensure that you are fulfilling your obligation according to landlord legal responsibilities in New York State.

Landlord Legal Responsibilities in New York State

Check Local Zoning Laws

Make sure the space you’re renting follows local zoning laws for a livable space.  For example, you can’t have someone live in a closet, even if it’s a big one.  The law defines habitable living space as space which will provide “reasonable comfort”.  Your tenant needs to have access to a bathroom and bathing facilities, but they can’t live in a bathroom.  There has to be a separate area provided.

landlord legal responsibilities in new york state

Check Health Standards

Health is an important factor, and if your space is negatively impacting your tenant’s health, this is a major issue.  Make sure your space is free from dangerous health hazards, such as harmful mold, asbestos, gas leaks, or other dangerous conditions will cause the space to be considered uninhabitable.

Finish All Projects Prior to Move-In Day

Safety is essential to proper living space, so make sure you’re not sacrificing safety to still make an income while the place is in progress.  You cannot rent a space where dangerous construction is going on that can harm the tenant.

Seal it Up Tight

You need to provide at least reasonable protection from weather and outside elements.  Make sure the space is safely sealed and comfortable.  Don’t rent out property with missing windows, missing doors, or lack of enclosure of some sort.  Make sure there is access to heat and electricity.

If it Broke, Fix it

A landlord is responsible for necessary repairs.  A once-working toilet does not qualify as a forever-working toilet.  You need to make sure that items such as the roof, toilet, and electrical wiring are taken care of immediately if something goes wrong.  Any of the above items need to be maintained throughout the course of the agreement period between you and your tenant.

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