New York Landlord and Tenant Duties

Chapter 50, Article 7, Section 235-b. Warranty of habitability

1.      In every written or oral lease or rental agreement for residential premises the landlord or lessor shall be deemed to covenant and warrant that the premises so leased or rented and all areas used in connection therewith in common with other tenants or residents are fit for human habitation and for the uses reasonably intended by the parties and that the occupants of such premises shall not be subjected to any conditions which would be dangerous, hazardous or detrimental to their life, health or safety. When any such condition has been caused by the misconduct of the tenant or lessee or persons under his direction or control, it shall not constitute a breach of such covenants and warranties.

2.      Any agreement by a lessee or tenant of a dwelling waiving or modifying his rights as set forth in this section shall be void as contrary to public policy.

Section 78. Repairs.

1.      Every multiple dwelling, including its roof or roofs, and every part thereof and the lot upon which it is situated, shall be kept in good repair. The owner shall be responsible for compliance with the provisions of this section; but the tenant also shall be liable if a violation is caused by his own wilful act, assistance or negligence or that of any member of his family or household or his guest. Any such persons who shall wilfully violate or assist in violating any provision of this section shall also jointly and severally be subject to the civil penalties provided in section three hundred four.

2.      Whenever, the light, ventilation, or any matter or thing in or about a multiple dwelling or part thereof, or in or about the lot on which it is situated, is in the opinion of the department in a condition or in its effect dangerous to life or health, the department may order or cause any such light, ventilation, matter or thing to be repaired or improved or, as provided in section three hundred nine, take such other action as it may deem necessary to remove such danger to life or health.

Section 80. Cleanliness.

1.      The owner shall keep all and every part of a multiple dwelling, the lot on which it is situated, and the roofs, yards, courts, passages, areas or alleys appurtenant thereto, clean and free from vermin, dirt, filth, garbage or other thing or matter dangerous to life or health.

2.      The owner of every multiple dwelling or part thereof shall thoroughly cleanse and keep clean at all times, to the satisfaction of the department, every public or service part thereof, including every room, passage, stair, floor, window, door, wall, ceiling, water-closet or toilet compartment, cesspool, drain, hall and cellar in such public or service part.

3.      All carpets and rugs which are permitted in any public part of a multiple dwelling shall be taken up and cleaned by the owner at least once a year or as much oftener as the department shall deem necessary.

4.      The interior surfaces of walls throughout every part of every multiple dwelling, whether in public or in tenant-occupied parts, shall be painted or papered and the ceilings kalsomined or painted by the owner. The walls and ceilings shall be rekalsomined, repapered or repainted by the owner whenever necessary to keep the said surfaces in a sanitary condition. No wall paper shall be placed upon such a wall or ceiling surface unless all existing wall paper shall be first removed therefrom and such wall or ceiling thoroughly cleaned and repaired.

5.      Any tenant shall be punishable as provided in section three hundred four for the existence of conditions in violation of the provisions of this chapter within his apartment to the extent that such conditions are caused by him, by members of his family or by his guests, and are under his control; but this provision shall not be construed to relieve the owner of any liability or duty under this section, except where a violation is caused and continued solely by the tenant or those under his control.

6.      Every dwelling erected after January first, nineteen hundred forty-seven, shall be so constructed as to be rat-proof. The agency of a city authorized by law to make rules supplemental to laws regulating construction, maintenance, use and area of buildings shall have the power to make rules and regulations to supplement the requirements of this subdivision.

§ 174. Repairs and cleanliness.

The owner shall keep all and every part of a dwelling and the lot on which it is situated in good repair, clean and free from vermin, rodents, dirt, filth, garbage or other thing or matter dangerous to life or health; but the tenant shall also be liable if a violation is caused by his own wilful act, assistance or negligence or that of any member of his family or household or his guests.

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