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New York State Multiple Dwelling Law

Here is the complete, searchable text of the New York State Multiple Dwelling Law, the guiding document for the construction and habitability of New York City apartment houses. It covers everything from the placement of fire exists to prohibitions against such arcana as having a commercial fat-boiling facility in your apartment. Those more obscure regulations paint a vivid picture of what New York City used to be like, and the kinds of things people really and truly did that led to fires, explosions, disease, entrapment and other tragedies that, through hard experience, led to the New York State Multiple Dwelling Law being formed.

Yet finding all of the law's provisions online, in one place, readily searchable through links, has never been easy. That's why Habitat has created this section. Anyone, from renter to co-op or condo apartment-owner to landlord now can use these links to quickly get to the exact section you need — all, for the first time, right at your fingertips.

Glossary of Terms

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Chapter 713 of the Laws of 1929, as amended

Article 3: Multiple Dwellings — General Provisions

Section 25. Application of Article 3


Section 26. Height, bulk, open spaces.
Section 28. Two or more buildings on same lot.
Section 29. Painting of courts and shafts.
Section 30. Lighting and ventilation of rooms.
Section 31. Size of rooms.
Section 32. Alcoves.
Section 33. Cooking spaces.
Section 34. Rooms in basements and cellars.
Section 35. Entrance doors and lights.
Section 36. Windows and skylights for public halls and stairs.
Section 37. Artificial hall lighting.

Section 50. Entrance halls.
Section 50-a Entrances: doors, locks and intercommunication systems.
Section 50-c Rights of tenants to operate and maintain a lobby attendant service.
Section 51. Shafts, elevators and dumbwaiters.
Section 51-a Peepholes.
Section 51-b Mirrors in connection with self-service elevators.
Section 51-c Rights of tenants to install and maintain locks in certain entrance doors.
Section 52. Stairs.
Section 53. Fire-escapes.
Section 54. Cellar entrance.
Section 55. Wainscoting.
Section 56. Frame buildings and extensions.
Section 57. Bells; mail receptacles.
Section 58. Incombustible materials.
Section 59. Bakeries and fat boiling.
Section 60. Motor vehicle storage.
Section 61. Business uses.
Section 62. Parapets, guard railings and wires.
Section 63. Sub-curb uses.
Section 64. Lighting; gas meters; gas and oil appliances.
Section 65. Boiler rooms.
Section 66. Lodging houses.
Section 67. Hotels and certain other class A and class B dwellings.
Section 68. Smoke detecting devices.

Section 75. Water supply.
Section 76. Water-closet and bath accommodations.
Section 77. Plumbing and drainage.
Section 78. Repairs.
Section 79. Heating.
Section 80. Cleanliness.
Section 81. Receptacles for waste matter.
Section 82. Privacy.
Section 83. Janitor or housekeeper.
Section 84. Construction standards for the control of noise.

Sec. 25. Application of article three.

Except as otherwise expressly provided, all the provisions of this article shall apply to every multiple dwelling erected after  April eighteenth, nineteen hundred twenty-nine. Except as otherwise expressly provided, only the following enumerated sections of this article, and then only to the extent required therein, shall apply to multiple dwellings, whether class A or class B, erected before such date:

Sec. 28-29, 31 (subdivision six), 33, 35, 37. 50s, 52, 55-62, 66, 75-81, 83

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