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Air Conditioner Bracket Installation Question

NYC Rent Regulation: Rent Control/Rent Stabilized, DHCR Practice/Procedures

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Air Conditioner Bracket Installation Question

Postby brooklynstabilized » Sun Jun 02, 2019 3:15 pm

Hi Guys,

So myself, and another Tenant purchased a Universal AC Support Bracket for our Air Conditioners since our Landlords were complaining about Tenants not having them. For this particular bracket you don't need tools, and don't have to drill anything. The Landlord is insisting that we hire a professional installer that has a Certificate of Insurance to install the AC unit. We're Rent Stabilized tenants. They Landlords are trying to evict the Tenants in order to jack up the rent to new tenants. Are they legally allowed to force us to hire a professional installer for something that doesn't need professional installation? They're also trying to charge us $5.00 per month for this. Please advise. Thanks.
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Re: Air Conditioner Bracket Installation Question

Postby TenantNet » Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:09 pm

I've been through that. DOB requires that AC's be secure in their installation, and while it does recommend a good bracket, and it is probably a good idea, as far as we know, brackets of the type you mention are not required by law ... at least that I could find. See https://www1.nyc.gov/site/buildings/hom ... -unit.page

But if you are going to install using a bracket, we know of no law that requires you to use a professional installer. I would check my lease to see if it addresses the issue (most likely it doesn't). And since you're rent stab, the LL cannot now require you to use a professional installer. Remember, the LL cannot legally change the terms or conditions of the original RS lease.

I've seen some charge $200 when the bracket can be around $25. Nor are you required to have an insurance certificate. My LL made strong recommendations of a certain installation company, and I would not be surprised of there was some kickback action going on.

Now if you're not too handy with tools, then you might want to find someone who is handy - and who won't charge $200.

The $5 charge is also illegal, and would be an overcharge if you had paid it.

So make sure you get a good secure installation, but do not pay some ridiculous amount for installation. If you have the ability, you can do it yourself.
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Re: Air Conditioner Bracket Installation Question

Postby brooklynstabilized » Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:21 pm

Thanks for the quick reply. I just noticed that on the website that the Landlord themselves posted as evidence it says NYC Law requires buildings 6 stories or higher to install brackets on Air Conditioners. Are we exempt from this? Our building only have 4 floors. Please advise. Thanks so much.
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Re: Air Conditioner Bracket Installation Question

Postby TenantNet » Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:42 pm

What's the URL of the site the LL posted?

Your LL is probably referring to Local Law 11 of 1998. It has to do with required facade inspections for buildings that are 6 or more stories in height. You can Google "NYC Local Law 11 of 1998" - one result is at http://www.hlzimmerman.com/fisp-local-law-11/

Also Google "NYC Local Law 11 air conditioners" One link goes to http://www.city-data.com/forum/new-york ... dow-2.html

and another:
https://randpc.com/ask/exterior-repair- ... -window-ac

and for the actual law, go to:
http://www.nyc.gov/html/dob/downloads/b ... /t27_1.pdf

and search for "27-129 Exterior walls and appurtenances thereof."

Understand that the requirement to inspect a facade is not the same thing as a requirement to install brackets. As far as we know, there is no law that requires brackets. The DOB link (above) is not a law, or even a rule or regulation. That is a list of tips. And even if it was required, it does not require professional installation or insurance.

My LL said the same thing. I said to him, "show me the law."

OK, here's the code:

Code: Select all
*§[C26-105.3] 27-129 Exterior walls and appurtenances
thereof.

In order to maintain a building's exterior walls and
appurtenances thereof in a safe condition, the following
additional requirements shall apply to all existing buildings
or buildings hereafter erected which are greater than six
stories in height:

(a) Inspection requirements.- A critical examination
of an applicable building's exterior walls and appurtenances
thereof shall be conducted at periodic intervals as set
forth by rule of the commissioner, but such examination
shall be conducted at least once every five years.

(1) The initial examination for any building in
existence on February twenty-first, nineteen hundred
eighty shall be conducted prior to February twentyfirst,
nineteen hundred eighty-two and the initial
examination for any building thereafter constructed shall
be conducted in the fifth year following the erection or
installation of any exterior wall and/or enclosures.

(2) Such examination shall be conducted and
witnessed by or under the direct supervision of a
licensed architect or licensed professional engineer
by or on behalf of the owner of the building.

(3) Such examination shall include, in addition
to an inspection, a complete review of the most recently
prepared report.

(4) Such examination shall also be conducted in
accordance with applicable rules promulgated by the
commissioner.

(b) Notification requirements.- Whenever an
architect or engineer learns through a critical examination
of a building's exterior walls and appurtenances thereof
of an unsafe condition prior to the filing of a report
with the department of buildings pursuant to subdivision

(c) of this section, he or she shall notify the owner and
the department of buildings immediately in writing of
such condition.

(c) Report of examination.-Such architect or
engineer shall submit a written report certifying the
results of such examination to the commissioner,
clearly documenting the condition of the exterior walls
and appurtenances thereof, as either safe, unsafe or safe
with a repair and maintenance program. The report
shall include a record of all significant deterioration,
unsafe conditions and movement observed as well as
a statement concerning the watertightness of the
exterior surfaces. Such report must be signed by and
bear the professional seal of such architect or engineer.

(d) Necessary repairs.-

(1) Unsafe condition.

a. Upon the filing of the architect's or engineer's
report of an unsafe condition with the commissioner, the
owner, his or her agent or the person in charge
shall immediately commence such repairs or
reinforcements and shall undertake such measures as
may be required to secure public safety and to make
the building's exterior walls or appurtenances
thereof conform to the provisions of this code.

b. All unsafe conditions shall be corrected within
thirty days of the filing of the critical examination report.

c. The architect or engineer shall inspect the
premises and file an amended report setting forth the
condition of the building within two weeks after
repairs to correct the unsafe condition have been
completed.

d. The commissioner may grant an extension of time
of up to ninety days to complete the repairs required to
correct an unsafe condition upon receipt and review of an
initial extension application submitted by the architect or
engineer together with such additional documentation as
may be prescribed by rule.

e. The commissioner may grant a further extension of
time to complete the repairs required to remove an unsafe
condition upon receipt and review of an application for a
further extension submitted by the architect or engineer together
with such further documentation as may be prescribed by rule.

(2) Safe condition with a repair and maintenance
program. An architect or engineer shall not file a report of a
safe condition with a repair and maintenance program for the
same building for two consecutive filing periods unless the
second such report is accompanied by his or her certification
attesting to the correction of all conditions identified in the
earlier report as requiring repair.

(e) Exceptions.- The additional requirements imposed
by this section shall not be applied to any part of an
exterior wall which is less than twelve inches from the
exterior wall of an adjacent building.

(f) Violations.- Any person who shall violate, or refuse,
or neglect to comply with any provisions of this section
shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of
not more than one thousand dollars, or by imprisonment
not exceeding six months, or both; and any such person
shall, also, for each offense, be subject to the payment of
a penalty in the sum of two hundred fifty dollars for each
month there is non-compliance, to be recovered in a civil
action brought in the name of the commissioner.

(g) With respect to buildings in existence on March
first, nineteen hundred ninety eight, the initial critical
examination of an exterior wall which was not subject to
such examination under the provisions of paragraph one
of subdivision d of this section in effect prior to the
effective date of this local law shall be conducted prior to

March first, two thousand.
*Local Law 11-1998.


I've seen different sites with different views on Local Law 11. Some say the tips are the same a being required. I don't buy that. (and in your case, your building is under 6 floors)

Even so, as I said above, brackets are a good thing. Normally they run about $25. I would consider using them. But I stop there. No discussion of LL11 requires a costly professional installation.
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Re: Air Conditioner Bracket Installation Question

Postby BubbaJoe123 » Fri Jul 16, 2021 10:31 am

TenantNet wrote:I've seen different sites with different views on Local Law 11. Some say the tips are the same a being required. I don't buy that. (and in your case, your building is under 6 floors)


For what it's worth, I've heard from multiple sources that DoB definitely is considering a/c brackets or mounting rails as required under LL11, and is writing violations for buildings that don't deal with it as part of the LL11 process.

Of course, that doesn't speak at all to the requirement to get a professional to do the install.
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Re: Air Conditioner Bracket Installation Question

Postby TenantNet » Fri Jul 16, 2021 11:51 am

Bubba,

As for LL11, we've checked as well. We've heard conflicting notions, but DOB could not (or would not) say that LL11 covers air conditioners or brackets. Nor would some architects with whom we checked. What most landlords pass out to tenants is a list of tips, and that's not binding on anyone. If DOB wants to cover this using LL11, they should say so, somewhere; they haven't done so.

Do you have anything in writing, or a source willing to state on the record that brackets are required pursuant to LL11?

Don't misunderstand, having additional protection is a good thing (I have one). But we haven't seen anything that says it's actually required. When my LL started claiming it was "per the law," I asked them to show me the law. They shut up real fast. (that works on a lot of the lies they put out).

As for installation, there is no requirement that a professional company does the work. Any person can make the installation if they are reasonably handy with basic tools. My installation took between 5 and 10 minutes. LLs give tenants the names of a few companies that charge up to $200. It's very likely that the LL takes some of the money off-the-top. One caveat if you go with a company, make sure the company provides insurance on the work and indemnifies you. If you do it, get a friend to help (so nothing slips out the window while you're working), and if you can make sure the area below the AC is kept clear while you're installing.

With some ACs, if you take off the front grill while installing, you can temporarily put on a bike lock or rope that would stop the AC from falling if you lose your grip. Tie it off at a nearby radiator.

You can buy a Frosty AC Support bracket for around $20. There are also many videos on Youtube explaining how to do it. Here's one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlLcJkNu8h4
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Re: Air Conditioner Bracket Installation Question

Postby AppellateLawyer » Sat Oct 30, 2021 12:44 pm

Hi- for anyone dealing with Air Conditioner brackets: I went through this in 2014 with my LL.

I sent an FOIL request to HPD asking if tenants were responsible for A/C brackets. The answer came back NO. Landlords are responsible for purchasing and installing brackets to the exterior of the building, to ensure that A/C units do not fall down. It is not the tenant's responsibility.

It is illegal for the LL to demand that you purchase the brackets or pay for the installation. My suggestion on dealing with this would be to send them a letter with Proof of Mailing or Certified Mail stating it is not your responsibility and you will not pay for it. You should then send a copy to the DCE (Director of Code Enforcement) at HPD and make a complaint to HPD about the brackets.

It would be best to do this on a building-wide basis.
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Re: Air Conditioner Bracket Installation Question

Postby AppellateLawyer » Sat Oct 30, 2021 12:48 pm

Please also note that if a tenant does this work themselves, installs brackets, then if heaven forbid something should go wrong, the landlord will claim that the tenant is liable. The LL is 100% responsible for installing the A/C brackets and tenants should insist that the LL do the work.

Any attempts to charge a monthly rent increase are illegal.
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Re: Air Conditioner Bracket Installation Question

Postby TenantNet » Sat Oct 30, 2021 2:50 pm

From your post, the question is who pays for the bracket (a DHCR question for RS tenants), not if an AC installation is required to have the bracket (that should be a HPD or DOB question and I've not seen absolute authority on that).

If not Rent Stab, then the unregulated lease would rule. A non-RS tenant could do it themselves; they don't have to pay hundreds to a company that most likely is giving kickbacks to the LL. However, the tenant should investigate liability insurance if they do it themselves. In our view, if the LL or their agent installs the bracket, then the LL would assume liability. Some installation companies will carry insurance.

DHCR does have policy statements on Air Conditioners ... whether or not LLs may charge tenants who have AC installations. In the old days, one factor was whether the unit extended past the window line, the theory being that one's rent didn't cover space outside the window. I don't know if the window line is still a factor.

However, those DHCR policies do not deal with the bracket itself, only whether or not the landlord can demand a tenant pays for it.

I don't see how HPD would have jurisdiction as to who pays for the bracket. HPD does not really cover RS issues. Nor would code enforcement handle any LL demand for tenants to pay for the bracket. They 'might' deal with the presence of the bracket (or place a violation if there is one in the Housing Maintenance Code), but not who pays for it.

Can you send us the document you got from HPD? Please send it as a PDF file (complete pages) to tenant -at- tenant.net, or by Private Mail on this forum.

In my case the LL had a repair person as the window was having problems (upper sash), so he went ahead and did the bracket installation at the same time. We agree that tenants should not have to pay someone to do it, either the LL or an outside company. My LL was telling tenants they had to pay the firm near $200 to do the job.
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Re: Air Conditioner Bracket Installation Question

Postby Landlords Boy » Mon Nov 01, 2021 1:28 pm

HCR Fact Sheets related to a/c installation:

https://hcr.ny.gov/system/files/documen ... 0-2019.pdf
Yes, the LL can charge a monthly fee to RC and RS tenants for the tenant-installed a/c. No, the LL can't charge the tenant for owner-installed brackets.

https://hcr.ny.gov/system/files/documen ... 5-2020.pdf
Yes, $5/month can be the legal surcharge - under certain circumstances. In some other cases, it may be nothing, or part of an IAI increase, or -

- or, as of October 1st, 2021, the legal surcharge could be as much as $27.16/month:
https://hcr.ny.gov/system/files/documen ... e-36_0.pdf
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Re: Air Conditioner Bracket Installation Question

Postby TenantNet » Mon Nov 01, 2021 2:06 pm

Let's clarify this. The $27.16/mo. charge is only in electrical inclusion buildings where the LL pays for electricity. For other units (where the tenant pays for electricity), the max. charge is only $5.00 per month.

An IAI can only be charged where the LL installs and maintains the AC. For tenant provided AC's, there can be no IAI.

I haven't seen a window line case in decades.
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