WINDOW GUARD LAW NYC HPD (Health Code Section 131.15)
NYC WINDOW GUARD LAW-New York City law (known as Health Code Section 131.15) requires landlords of buildings with three or more apartments to provide and install approved window guards on windows in an apartment where a child 10 years old or younger lives. Landlords must also install window guards in hallway windows.
Your building's owner or superintendent must:
- Install window guards in your apartment if your building has more than three apartments, or if you request them.
- Fix any window guards that need repair.
- Install window guards in all public hallway windows if a child 10 or younger resides in the building.
Each year between January 1 and January 15, your building owner must give you an Annual Notice form -click to download (PDF) to complete indicating whether or not children 10 or younger live in the apartment, or if you want window guards for any reason. You must return the form to your landlord by February 15. You can also request window guards in writing at any time.
NYC HPD WINDOW GUARDS
When used in these regulations, the following words or terms shall have the following meaning: Child or children. "Child or children" shall mean any person 10 years of age or younger. Department. "Department" shall mean the New York City Department of Health. Installation of window guard. "Installation of window guard" shall mean proper installation and maintenance of window guards in a manner approved by the Department. Landlord. "Landlord" shall mean owner, lessee, agent, or other person who manages or controls a multiple dwelling or dwelling unit. Tenant. "Tenant" shall mean lessee or other occupant regularly residing within a dwelling unit, regardless of whether said occupant is a party to a lease agreement.
§12-02 Lease Notice.
(a) All leases offered to tenants in multiple dwellings shall contain, as a rider to the lease, a notice the form and content of which shall be as specified in Appendix A hereto. (b) Said notice shall be printed in not less than ten (10) point type, and shall bear the title "Window Guard Required" underlined and in bold face. (c) Said notice shall be separately signed and dated by the tenant who signed the lease indicating clearly whether a child ten years of age or under is, or will be, residing in the leased premises.
§12-03 Annual Notice.
(a) Each year the landlord shall deliver to each dwelling unit, a notice, the form and content of which shall be in English and Spanish as specified in Appendix B, no earlier than January 1 and no later than January 16 of the year for which the notice is delivered. The foregoing otwithstanding, if such notice is delivered to the tenant by enclosure with the rent bill pursuant to §12-03(b)(3) below, then the notice may be delivered by the landlord at such time as the rent bill for the month of January is delivered. In addition said notice shall be so delivered within thirty (30) days of a change in occupancy not involving a written lease. This provision shall be effective January 1, 1987. (b) The landlord shall deliver said notice by any one of the following methods:
(1) by first class mail addressed to the tenant at the dwelling unit;
(2) by hand delivery to the tenant at the dwelling unit;
(3) by enclosure with the rent bill.
(c) If by February 15th of the year for which the notice was sent a landlord does not have a written communication signed by the tenant, and does not otherwise have actual knowledge of the need or desire for window guards, then the landlord or his agent shall at reasonable times inspect the dwelling unit to ascertain whether a child 10 years of age or younger resides in the dwelling and if so, whether approved window guards are properly installed and maintained.
(d) If by March 1 a landlord who has fully complied with subdivisions (b) and (c) of this section has been unable to ascertain the need or desire for window guards in any dwelling unit or units, then he shall write to the Department's Window Falls Prevention Program, 125 Worth Street, New York, New York 10013, fully describing what efforts have been made to comply with §131.15 of the New York City Health Code and these regulations, for the purpose of requesting assistance in regard to his further compliance. Such request shall include the name and telephone number of the landlord or his representative.Every window in the apartment must have a window guard, except windows leading to fire escapes. In buildings with fire escapes, window guards must be left off one window in each ground-floor apartment so the window can be used as an emergency exit. All public hallway windows must have window guards, too
If your property has at least three apartments, you are required to install window guards on each window in those units occupied by children age ten or younger. There are exceptions to the rule:
*window guards cannot be placed on fire escape windows under any circumstances
*if a first floor window is the sole means of egress from a unit, a window guard should not be placed there
*if an air conditioner is in a window, that air conditioner must be permanently installed; securely bolted; there are stopping devices to limit the elevation of the lower sash to the air conditioner's height; there are permanent and secure barriers to cover the gaps on either side of the air conditioner; and there are no gaps greater than 4.5".
Even if there are no children under the age of ten in the unit, if the tenant requests them, you must have them installed. You are not required to install window screens.
Your lease riders should clearly explain to the lessee that they are required to have window guards installed in their units if they have children ten and under.
The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) distributes approved Annual Notices which must be delivered to the tenants, signed and collected.
If, by February 15, tenants have not returned the annual notices, it is recommended that you:
1. Write a letter to the tenant requesting the signed notice. If there are several written letter requests to no avail, request that you inspect the unit yourself. Have the superintendent knock on the tenant's door to get the notice as well. Have them keep extra copies of the notices in case the tenant needs a new one. By March 1, contact the DOHMH Office of Field Operations to inform them of your attempts and they will provide you with letters and a feedback form.
It is imperative you comply with all the above, especially in instances where access is denied, so as to avoid fines and violations.
NYC HPD Windows guard Law
§131.15 Window guards.
(a) Window guards required.
(1) The owner, manager, lessee, agent or other person who manages or controls a multiple dwelling, including, but not limited to, owners of condominium units and the board of directors of a cooperative, shall provide, install, and maintain, a window guard of a type and installation in accordance with the specifications of the Department set forth in Chapter 12 of Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York, on the windows of each apartment in which a child or children ten (10) years of age and under reside, and on the windows, if any, in the public halls of a multiple dwelling in which such children reside.
(2) This section shall not apply to windows giving access to fire escapes or to a window on the first floor that is a required means of egress from the dwelling unit. It shall be the duty of each such person who manages or controls a multiple dwelling to ascertain whether such a child resides therein, in accordance with the notice requirements of the Department in Chapter 12 of Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York.
(b) No refusal of window guards by occupant. No tenant or occupant of a multiple dwelling unit, or other person, shall obstruct or interfere with the installation of window guards required by subdivision (a) of this section, nor shall any person remove such window guards.
(c) No refusal to install by owners. No owner, manager, lessee or other person who manages or controls a multiple dwelling shall refuse a written request of a tenant or occupant of a multiple dwelling unit, to install window guards regardless of whether such is required by subdivision (a), except that this section shall not apply to windows giving access to fire escapes.
(d) Declaration of nuisance.
(1) Failure to install or maintain window guards pursuant to this section is hereby declared to constitute a nuisance and a condition dangerous to life and health, pursuant to §17-145 of the Administrative Code.
(2) Every person obligated to comply with the provisions of subdivision (a) of this section is hereby ordered to abate such nuisance by installing and maintaining required window guards. 5
(3) Whenever a nuisance or condition is found to exist in violation of this section, the Department may order the person or persons obligated to install and maintain window guards to do so. In the event such order is not complied with within five (5) days after service of such order, the Department may request an agency of the City to execute such order pursuant to the provisions of §17-147 of the Administrative Code and shall be entitled to enforce its rights for reimbursement of expenses incurred thereby, pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 1, Title 17 of the Administrative Code. If such order is executed by HPD, or its successor agency, the expense of execution may be recovered by such agency pursuant to subchapter five of chapter two of Title 27 of the Administrative Code.
(e) Enforcement by Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Orders to install or repair window guards in multiple dwellings required by this section and any rules of the Department may be issued by the Commissioner and by HPD or any successor agency on behalf of the Commissioner.
What is a windows guard? Window guards are metal grilles that are installed in windows in order to keep young children from climbing out and being killed or injured. ... Window stops cannot be used as window guards. Window guards must be installed that protect the entire openable area of the lower window.
Who is responsible for window guards in NYC? The NYC Health Code requires owners of buildings of three or more apartments to provide and properly install approved window guards on all windows in an apartment where a child (or children) 10 years of age or younger reside and in each hallway window.
What NYC Building Owners Need to Know About Window Guards
For properties with three or more units, New York City law requires that building owners install and maintain window guards for apartments where a child age 10 years or younger lives. Every window in the apartment, except those leading to fire escapes, must have window guards. These metal or aluminum devices are designed to prevent children from falling out of windows. They are different from burglar bars.
Window guards and legal requirements
The law has several requirements:
Notices. When tenants sign a lease, the landlord must provide a window guard notice form within the first 30 days of occupancy. In addition, building owners must send an annual notice regarding window guards between January 1 and January 16. Tenants are required to complete and return the form to notify the landlord if a child age 10 years or younger lives in the apartment. These forms can also be used to request the guards for any other reason, such as to protect visiting children or for personal safety concerns.
Installation. Where required or requested, landlords must install window guards on every window in the apartment, even on the first floor, with the exception of windows leading to fire escapes. Window guards must be left off one window in each ground-floor apartment to allow use of the window as an emergency exit. In addition, all public hallway windows must have window guards for buildings with children age 10 years or younger.
Compliance. These metal guards must meet the requirements of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which has approved many types of these devices. Approved window guards are a minimum of 15 inches tall, with horizontal bars spaced 4.5 inches apart. The New York City Department of Health maintains a list of approved devices online. Guards and any other limiting devices should be appropriate to the window type (e.g., double hung, casement, sliding, etc.).
Building owners and landlords are responsible for installation and maintenance of these protective devices. For co-operative buildings, the responsibility remains with management. For owners in condominium buildings, the individual unit owners are responsible for installing and maintaining the guards. (Some condo managers do install them, but they’re still the owner’s responsibility.) Even in condo buildings, management is still responsible for guards in the hallway.
DISCLAIMER to comply with the New York City Consumer Protection Law which applies to all businesses operating in New York City: We are small family-owned and family-operated Brooklyn-based business. We are not a City of New York store nor are the website, products or services affiliated with the City of New York or any agency of the City of New York. We ourselves, our business, websites, products, services, or any hyperlinks from its website are not sponsored by, approved by, affiliated with, endorsed by, or connected to the City of New York or any agency of the City of New York, including but not limited to HPD, DOB, DOT, DSNY, FDNY and federal directly or by implication.
DISCLAIMER These codes may not be the most recent version. The State / federal or other regulation department may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.
The requirements for sign content are determined by intended use and by applicable regulation. The BUYER is responsible for determining the appropriate content for a sign or package of signs. WE makes no warranty or representation of suitability of a sign for any specific application. IT IS THE CUSTOMER'S RESPONSIBILITY TO ENSURE THAT THE SIGNS THE CUSTOMER ORDERS ARE IN COMPLIANCE WITH ALL STATE, FEDERAL, LOCAL, AND MUNICIPAL LAWS. Please review terms and conditions prior to purchase.
For more information about what is required, see the laws that are referenced and the rules applicable to your city and state. This page is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice, professional advice or a statement of law. You may wish to consult with an attorney.