New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Business of Management 2021




Window Guards Save Lives, But Who Pays?

Window Guards
June 24, 2016

New York City seems to be undergoing a very loud baby boom. The signs are everywhere: noisy playgrounds, overcrowded schools, sidewalks gridlocked with strollers. Less conspicuous is that other sure sign that children are present: window guards.

Those metal bars are mandatory in windows in New York City buildings with three or more units if a child under 10 lives in the apartment. A board member in a 40-unit condo in the East Village poses this question to the Ask Real Estate column in the New York Times: “In a condo, whose responsibility is it to pay for window guards?”

In a condominium building, the person who owns the apartment, not the condo association, is responsible for the safety of the apartment, including window guards, says attorney Mark Luxemburg, a partner at Gallet Dreyer & Berkey. If the unit-owner sublets the apartment, he or she is still responsible for the guards.

In co-ops, on the other hand, installation and maintenance is initially the responsibility of the corporation – though some proprietary leases authorize boards to pass the cost on to the shareholder. In rental apartments, installation and maintenance is the landlord’s responsibility.

And remember this quirk: though window guards are designed to prevent children from plunging to their deaths, the guards are required even on first-floor windows. Only fire-escape windows are exempt. Hey, this is New York. Don’t expect the laws to be logical.

Ask the Experts

learn more

Learn all the basics of NYC co-op and condo management, with straight talk from heavy hitters in the field of co-op or condo apartments

Professionals in some of the key fields of co-op and condo board governance and building management answer common questions in their areas of expertise

Source Guide

see the guide

Looking for a vendor?