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What are 5 common housing code violations?

| Mar 24, 2021 | Landlord-Tenant Matters |

If you own real estate in New York or are looking into becoming a landlord, it’s a good idea to understand the housing codes and the possible violations that could occur. New York has plenty of regulations, but there are some code violations that come up regularly among property owners.

Some of these violations include:

  • Missing GFCIs
  • Improper venting
  • Missing smoke alarms
  • Missing handrails
  • Failing to provide proper heat or water for residents in a building

Here is more information on each one, so you can take steps to avoid them.

  1. Missing GFCIs

The first issue that many homeowners run into is missing GFCIs. GFCI stands for ground-fault circuit interrupter and refers to a specific kind of outlet. These outlets are required in garages, bathrooms and kitchens. They are also required in outdoor spaces.

  1. Improper venting

Improper venting can kill in some cases, especially if carbon monoxide is coming back into a home. Bathroom exhausts, as well as dryer exhausts, need to be appropriately vented out of the house through the roof or side of the house. Venting the air incorrectly can lead to mold, rot and potentially poisonings.

  1. Missing smoke alarms

If smoke alarms are missing or in the wrong place, they won’t detect smoke or a fire in time. Smoke alarms should be placed in each bedroom and in the kitchen, at a minimum. It’s best for these to be hardwired and connected, so they all go off if one of them senses a problem.

  1. Missing handrails

Missing handrails are problematic, as are handrails without the right endcaps (also known as returns). The point of a return is to prevent sleeves or items from catching on the railing, which can lead to falls. Missing handrails are also problematic, so they should be installed as soon as possible.

  1. Failing to provide proper heat or water for residents in a building

One of the more serious violations is failing to provide the right heating or water for residents in a building. If it is 40 degrees outside, for example, the building needs to maintain an internal temperature of at least 55 degrees. Water should be kept at 120 degrees (hot) 24 hours a day as well.

These are some common code violations to address, so you can make the most of your property. If you have questions, your attorney or local agencies can help.