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Window Guards on the First Floor -- MICHELLE’S MONDAY MANDAMUS

August 1, 2016:  This Q&A post originally appeared on the LandlordsNY blog, where Michelle Maratto Itkowitz is the "Legal Expert".

Hi, Michelle here.  I am the LandlordsNY “Legal Expert”.  My goal is to post in the blog all of the questions I get from LandlordsNY members (keeping the member anonymous) and my answers thereto, when I think that such questions and answers would be of interest to other people.  Let me know if this is helpful.  These questions are excellent, keep them coming.

Question:  “Do you install window guards on your 1st floor street facing units?  If yes, your cost or the tenants?  No children, adults only.”


Actually, an even better tip is to click through to the actual regulation itself.  

I am a big fan of owners and managers actually reading the statutes that govern their behavior.

The regulation does not specifically exempt first floor windows.  The Window Guard regulations say at §12-07: 

“Window guards may not be installed selectively.  They must be installed in all windows except fire escape access windows and secondary egress windows in first floor apartments, where the fire escapes are on the upper floors.  Choice of unguarded window is optional in latter cases.”

Therefore, you DO have to install window guards in First Floor Windows UNLESS the first floor window is the secondary egress.  

There are a LOT of other details about both: (a) the requirements regarding window guard notices to tenants, and (b) the proper installation thereof.  Please make sure you are familiar with all of this.  

Window guards really do save children’s lives.  I did a google search before wrapping up this answer, and I found some pretty horrific and recent stories.  Doing all of this correctly protects the landlord from massive liability.  If you have any further questions, let me know.  

Thank you for this great question.  Finally, I am obligated to say that this post is for general informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney and client relationship between the reader and I or between the reader and LandlordsNY.  


Michelle Maratto Itkowitz
Itkowitz PLLC

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