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No escape route, no fire information given - what can I do?

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No escape route, no fire information given - what can I do?

Postby Lux » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:43 pm

Hi All,

I have just rented an apartment (not rent regulated, as far as I know) in Manhattan.

The landlord insists that there doesn't have to be a secondary escape route, and he hasn't given me any fire-related information.

From what I can tell from nyc.gov (which is not much, I must say), this seems wrong.

What can I do to find out if this is illegal, and what I can I do to force my landlord to comply with the law? Is there a good organisation that can provide me with basic advice? Is there a good, comprehensive (-ish) reference for NYC housing law (I'm a lawyer in my home country, so I can at least have a good stab at understanding a practitioner text)?

I've tried to contact the fire department, but I have had no reply.
Lux
 
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Postby TenantNet » Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:28 am

First, please change your user name to something not resembling your real name or email address, and then let us know. And don't sign public posts with your name (I took it off). That's the quickest route to LL harassment.

How many floors are in your building? What floor are you on? Is there a sprinkler system in the public hallways and stairs? When was the building constructed (approx. year)?
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Postby Lux » Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:19 am

Ok, thanks for the advice.

The particulars:
There are 5 floors (of which the first two are commercial units); we are on the fifth floor.
There are sprinklers on the main stairs.
The building was constructed about 1920.
Lux
 
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Postby TenantNet » Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:02 am

The second floor being used for commercial purposes might be illegal, depends on the zoning and other factors.

I don't have the specifics, which you will likely find in the Building Code or Multiple Dwelling Law, but high-rise residential towers get around the 2nd mean of egress by having sprinklers in the halls and stairways. I do not know if that applies to shorter buildings or lofts.

You might check to see if the building used to have fire escapes (external or internal) and if they were taken away.

I would press on the DOB and FDNY for definitive answers.
The Tenant Network(tm) for Residential Tenants
Information from TenantNet is from experienced non-attorney tenant
activists and is not considered legal advice.

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