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Lessor Liability

GOL SEC. 5-321

This statute voids any provision in a lease or an agreement related to a lease, such as an alteration agreement, which exempts the landlord from liability for its negligence. 

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"A tenant-shareholder is renovating her apartment. She has followed the rules: she applied to the board, which approved the renovation, and she signed the co-op’s standard alteration agreement. Everything is going smoothly. Then, one of her contractor’s workers is injured on the job. He sues the co-op. The board states that the tenant-shareholder, under the alteration agreement, must indemnify the board and the managing agent against the worker’s claims. They are wrong. Co-op boards need to make sure that their alteration and other agreements don’t contain such a landmine."

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