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Is this really a violation?

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Is this really a violation?

Postby aattjj » Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:08 pm

I hope someone can help... I live in a HUD apartment building (11 floors) in Massachusetts. I was notified that I was in violation because I did not provide "clear access to one of the windows" in the apartment. The only thing I have in front of the window is a low bookcase (approximately 15 inches wide, 36 inches long, 34 inches high). The bookcase does not obstruct the view nor the operation of the window (half of the window slides in a track). Basically the bookcase is against the wall below the window. Is this really a violation? Any help with this matter will be appreciated.
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Postby cestmoi123 » Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:38 pm

Could be a violation, if the window is deemed an emergency exit, and the bookshelf would impede someone climbing out of it...

Postby TenantNet » Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:48 pm

Don't think so. of course HUD regs may differ. In NY and other areas, there are requirements for two means of egress in every unit. With the older buildings one finds in NYC, the second means of egress is usually a fire escape through a window. (higher buildings can get around this with sprinklers).

That means the window itself should not be blocked and I've never seen any claim for violation for having a low bookcase below the window ledge. Indeed, most people have some sort of furniture in front of windows. Either one has to move the furniture or climb over it to access the fire escape. Also in NY window gates can be only those approved by the Fire Department.

Maybe you had an over-zealous inspector.
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