Last week there was a very sad incident where a child fell from her window. She eventually died from her injuries.
New York City law requires that a landlord provide and maintain window guards if a child under 11 years of age resides in the apartment.
First, the landlord is required to inquire whether any children under 11 reside in the apartment. This is done typically with a one sheet questionaire sent to the apartment house tenants. The tenant is obligated to return the questionnaire and to advise the landlord if a child under 11 lives in the apartment. Then, the landlord is obligated to install, maintain, and repair the window guards. Of course, the tenant must allow access to the landlord in order to hold the landlord responsible. Also, the tenant must tell the landlord that there is a child under 11 in the apartment in order for the landlord to be liable.
Let us assume that a family with a 9 year old tells the landlord that they need window guards. Assume that the landlord fails to installs them, and the child falls out the window while playing. The landlord’s failure to provide window guards may be proof of negligence. The landlord would be responsible for the child’s injuries.
A child does not have to fall a great distance to get injured. We handled a case where the child fell out of the window of her first floor apartment.
Also, the landlord of a two family home does not have to install guards. It is a good idea for the tenant to install them at his own expense.
Therefore, we strongly recommend that you install window guards. Also, make sure that your window guards are secure.
If your child has been injured in a fall from a window, please call me at 800-581-1434.
Mark E. Seitelman, 12/28/08, www.seitelman.com.