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Landlord required to clean windows?
April 11, 2010 9:10 AM   Subscribe

Is my landlord legally required to provide periodic window cleaning?

I recently moved into an 11-story building in Brooklyn with floor-to-ceiling windows throughout. There's really no way for me to clean the windows on the outside and they're starting to get kind of scummy. Are NYC landlords legally required to provide periodic window cleaning for the apartments in the building?

Thanks in advance for your answers!
posted by kmtiszen to Law & Government (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm thinking probably not legally required. They might have a service come once a quarter or twice a year or something because they want the place to look nice to potential renters. But I can't imagine that they're required to clean the windows on their building.

On the plus side, you've always wanted to take up rappelling/abseiling, right?
posted by ish__ at 10:11 AM on April 11, 2010


Check your lease - there's a chance it will say something about who has the responsibility to pay for window cleaning or how often they need to be cleaned.
posted by insectosaurus at 10:53 AM on April 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


I doubt it. I live in New York City too, and don't know anyone who has their windows washed by a service provided by the landlord. Seems like if it is done, that's a perk as opposed to a legal requirement. However, there are companies in the city that will do this at a fairly reasonable price. Me-Mail me if you want a specific recommendation- I haven't had it done myself, but I know a couple people who have.
posted by wondermouse at 11:28 AM on April 11, 2010


I think that they are. Imagine if they were absolutely encrusted in black soot -- that would impede your quality of life in whatever way it's worded in the lease/common law, right? I think the outside of the building, including the outside of the windows, are part of the common spaces of the building that fall under the landlord's maintenance.

I know that my landlord is required to, but I'm in landmarked building so that might have something to do with it. And even though they're required, it takes all of the tenants banding together and complaining/filing a complaint to actually get it done.
posted by thebazilist at 11:39 AM on April 11, 2010


I think that they are. Imagine if they were absolutely encrusted in black soot -- that would impede your quality of life in whatever way it's worded in the lease/common law, right?

Not to pick on you, thebazilist, but that is really not how the law works. If the lease gives the OP a right to quality of life, I'd frankly be shocked. That clause would be a nightmare to uphold.

What you might be thinking of is "quiet enjoyment" but that is a term of art in that it neither guarantees quiet, nor enjoyment. It basically means that no one will materially interfere with your right to occupy the premises. You'd have a pretty hard time convincing a housing tribunal that dirty windows are keeping you from actually living in your apartment.

The statutory standards for rental accommodations in any jurisdiction I've ever heard of (and to be fair, I'm not familiar with Brooklyn's) tend to concern themselves with the really, really basic it-would-be-seriously-unsafe-if-not-adhered-to kind of stuff. Like if the apartment had *no* windows. And the courts and tribunals and bylaw enforcement folks are busy enough just trying to get these minimal standards implemented.

OP: that doesn't mean there isn't something in your lease that deals with this, though. Read your lease, talk to your landlord, and of course consult competent counsel in your jurisdiction if you require legal advice.

(IANYL, TINLA)
posted by AV at 12:31 PM on April 11, 2010


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