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Law Pro
Law Pro, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 24376
Experience:  20 years experience in business law - sole proprietor, partnership, and corporations
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A land lord has installed a metal bar across a window in the

Resolved Question:

A land lord has installed a metal bar across a window in the laundry room in a eight story apartment building that has over a 100 Tenants living in it that us this room to wash their cloths, a tenant told the landlord that the metal bar has sharp edges that can cut anyone if they touched it, the landlord looked at it and said that he will have it removed by his maintenance man who installed it. ten days have passed and he has not removed it. And three tenants have cut their fingers on it. what are their legal rights ? and should we as tenants remove it ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.

Law Pro :

Hi! Thank you for using JustAnswer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'll be assisting you with your question.

Law Pro :

The LL installed this metal bar in the interior of the building - not the exterior?

Customer:

yes

Law Pro :

That metal bar is a breach of the implied warranty of habitability - it's a danger.

Law Pro :

It's a health and safety problem for the tenants.

Law Pro :

There are many kinds of defects that could make a rental unit unlivable. The implied warranty of habitability requires landlords to maintain their rental units in a condition fit for the "occupation of human beings " In addition, the rental unit must "substantially comply" with building and housing code standards that materially affect tenants' health and safety.

A landlord’s lease cannot avoid the implied warranty habitability - nor can the tenant waive the implied warranty of habitability.

A rental unit may be considered uninhabitable (unlivable) if it contains a lead hazard that endangers the occupants or the public, or is a substandard building because, for example, a structural hazard, inadequate sanitation, or a nuisance endangers the health, life, safety, property, or welfare of the occupants or the public.

A dwelling also may be considered uninhabitable (unlivable) if it substantially lacks any of the following:

Effective waterproofing and weather protection of roof and exterior walls, including unbroken windows and doors.
Plumbing facilities in good working order, including hot and cold running water, connected to a sewage disposal system
Gas facilities in good working order.
Heating facilities in good working order.
An electric system, including lighting, wiring, and equipment, in good working order.
Clean and sanitary buildings, grounds, and appurtenances (for example, a garden or a detached garage), free from debris, filth, rubbish, garbage, rodents, and vermin.
Adequate trash receptacles in good repair.
Floors, stairways, and railings in good repair.
In addition to these requirements, each rental unit must have all of the following:

A working toilet, wash basin, and bathtub or shower. The toilet and bathtub or shower must be in a room which is ventilated and allows privacy.
A kitchen with a sink that cannot be made of an absorbent material such as wood.
Natural lighting in every room through windows or skylights. Windows in each room must be able to open at least halfway for ventilation, unless a fan provides mechanical ventilation.
Safe fire or emergency exits leading to a street or hallway. Stairs, hallways, and exits must be kept litter-free. Storage areas, garages, and basements must be kept free of combustible materials.
Operable deadbolt locks on the main entry doors of rental units, and operable locking or security devices on windows.
Working smoke detectors in all units of multi-unit buildings, such as duplexes and apartment complexes. Apartment complexes also must have smoke detectors in common stairwells.Ground fault circuit interrupters for swimming pools and antisuction protections for wading pools in apartment complexes and other residential settings (but not single family residences).
The implied warranty of habitability is not violated merely because the rental unit is not in perfect, aesthetically pleasing condition. Nor is the implied warranty of habitability violated if there are minor housing code violations, which, standing alone, do not affect
habitability.

While it is the landlord's responsibility to install and maintain the inside wiring for one telephone jack, the landlord's failure to do so probably does not violate the implied warranty of habitability.

Additionally is the presence of mold conditions in the rental unit that affect the livability of the unit or the health and safety of tenants and the when the local health officer that the property is contaminated by methamphetamine.

Landlords must repair the pipes and plumbing in a rental unit and maintain them in good shape. They are obligated to do so under at least two separate, though related, theories.

The landlord has to keep essential plumbing (e.g.the toilet) working. What happens if there is a leak and the tenant’s belongings are damaged? In that case, if the landlord violated a duty to maintain the plumbing, he may also have been legally negligent. If the cause of the leak was negligence—for example, carelessness in maintaining or fixing the pipes—the landlord may well be responsible for any damages or losses caused by the negligence.

Law Pro :

That's an extensive explanation of the implied warranty of habitability which the LL has clearly breached by placing the metal bar across the window.

Law Pro :

So, any tenant could remove the metal bar and not be found liable for doing such.

Customer:

this was a metal bar to keep people from falling out the window on the 8th floor this is where the bar is across the window.

Law Pro :

Then the bar should be placed in the exterior of the building and not in the inside or interior.

Law Pro :

Or the bar should be constructed such that it doesn't impose a health and safety hazard - especially when tenants have to use the laundry room to launder their clothes

Customer:

can the tenants sue that cut them selves?

Law Pro :

Yes. They can receive recovery for their damages - their personal injuries.

Law Pro :

Not just one tenant cut and injured themself - 3 tenants cut and injured themself.

Law Pro :

The metal bar is a health and safety hazard clearly.

Law Pro :

At the very least they are entitled to get their medical bill paid.

Customer:

give me and example of what they can do legally

Law Pro :

They can sue the LL for their injuries - that the LL installed a dangerous obstacle in a common area where they have to go to launder their clothes.

Law Pro :

Technically they can recover legally. But it's a matter of severity - how bad were their finger's cut.

Law Pro :

If only a slight cut - then recovery would be maybe one dollar and it wouldn't be worth it to file suit given the amount of time it take to pursue the matter.

Law Pro :

However, if their tendens or nerves were cut - then absolutely they should sue because they have serious bodily injuries.

Law Pro :

If only a slight cut - it's considered a nuisance claim and most likely the LL's insurance carrier would offer a nominal settlement just for the matter to go away.

Customer:

thank you I have another question about the hot water the apartment burning a tenant and she has second degree burns on her hand. should this be a new question ?

Law Pro :

If you would be so kind. There would be alot of gathering of information regarding the hot water tank.

Law Pro :

Thank you.

Customer:

ok.

Law Pro, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 24376
Experience: 20 years experience in business law - sole proprietor, partnership, and corporations
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