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What are the landlord-tenant requirements for window safety?

Landlords and tenants in New Jersey need to be fully aware of the laws and regulations that apply to the windows in the dwellings that they rent to the public and/or reside in. Most importantly, they need to know how laws and regulations apply to screens that prevent insects from entering the dwellings and window guards that prevent children from falling out of the dwellings.

Landlords in New Jersey must provide screens on the windows of their buildings and structures in order to protect against insects. Those screens must be in good repair and be placed on exterior doors (except for those that are not used for ventilation). Landlords also need to provide screens on windows that open and are located in common areas and living areas. For apartment units located on a building six floor or above, the screens are not required. At the very least, these screens are required from May 1 to October 1 every year.

In addition to screens, landlord-tenant regulations require that landlords provide approved child protection window guards on exterior windows of residences where children who are 10 years of age or younger live — if the tenants request them in writing. Window guards of this type are not required if the window opens to a fire escape or if the window is on the first floor of the building. Furthermore, this requirement does not apply to owner-occupied apartments, cooperatives or condominiums.

In every New Jersey lease, landlords must include language stating that window guards will be provided, installed and maintained upon written request by tenants with children who are 10 years of age or younger. Additionally, landlords need to provide written notices that keep their tenants apprised of current window guard regulations.

When a landlord fails to provide screens and/or window guards for an apartment, injuries that happen as a result of that failure could give rise to premises liability claims. In the event of a serious accident, injured parties may wish to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about their ability to pursue such claims in court.

Source: Habitability Bulletin, "Landlord-Tenant Information Service," accessed Aug. 15, 2016

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