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Window Guards...?

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Window Guards...?

Postby NightOwlNYC » Fri Jul 01, 2016 12:35 pm

Help, please! I just want to know what my rights are.

I am renting a 2-Bedroom Apartment in Queens. The building is a 2-family house and I am on the second floor - the landlord lives downstairs. We (my wife, my 4 year-old, and I) have been living in the apartment for the last year. I recently visited a friend's coop rental (big building, more than 100 units) and discovered that he has Window Guards even though he has no children. I thought it was a great idea since I have a four-year old. I also learned that it was required by the LL of a multiple dwelling unit to provide window guards if any unit has a child less than 10 years old living within.

Now, I know that a 2-family house is NOT a multiple dwelling (defined as 3 units or more). However, I thought LL cannot deny installing window guards if tenants specifically request it for safety reasons. Herein lies the conflict...

A month ago, I requested that the LL install window guards since I have a 4 year-old. He said no and indicated that he was not required to do so. He indicated that *if* it were a multiple dwelling, he cannot refuse if requested. But since a 2 family home isn't a multiple dwelling, he CAN refuse. While I doubted that, I then asked if I can pay and install the window guards myself. He indicated that it would "damage" the windows with screwholes, and I would have to pay for the damages, which could be the replacement of all windows. We do have a lease and the agreement does indicate that damages made by the tenant shall be paid by the tenant.

Who is within their rights here? Can I get the LL to install one with no cost to me? And if not, can I install it without fear of "damage payments?"

Thanks so much for the feedback!

Jeff
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Re: Window Guards...?

Postby TenantNet » Fri Jul 01, 2016 5:31 pm

Checking various sources, it is true that window guards are not required in buildings of 3 or less units. Here's one article http://goo.gl/jWhWuV and https://goo.gl/R26y5T

"Owners of one- and two-family houses aren't required to install guards. But if you rent an apartment in a one- or two-family house you can always ask the landlord to put them in and offer to pay for them yourselves. Either the landlord or you can install them."

If I had a kid I would go ahead and install the guards and then fight about it later when you leave the apartment. The guards I've seen can be installed with two screws on each side, so filling in the hole later should not be that big of a deal. Perhaps the LL will have forgotten about it by then.
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