Residential Leases Now Require Sprinklers New State Law Takes Effect

Effective December 3, 2014, all residential leases in New York State now require a notice to residential tenants about the presence of absence of sprinkler systems in the “leased premises.”

The new law, however, while defining what a sprinkler system is, does not define what a “lease” is or what “premises” are. The law is effective through the entire State of New York and makes no exceptions for premises that are governmentally regulated or even governmentally run. However, while stating what must exist, the law has no enforcement mechanism on its face and no penalty stated for non-compliance. However, where there is no question whether the document in question really is some kind of lease, it appears clear that the law covers both main leases and subleases, both new leases and renewal leases.

Short and simple, the law says, “1. Every residential lease shall provide conspicuous notice in bold face type as to the existence or non-existence of a maintained and operative sprinkler system in the leased premises. 2. For purposes of this section, "sprinkler system" shall have the same meaning as defined in section one hundred fifty-five-a of the executive law. 3. If there is a maintained and operative sprinkler system in the leased premises, the residential lease agreement shall provide further notice as to the last date of maintenance and inspection.”

While most leases call themselves “leases,” there are other names as well. Even where the name is modified in some manner, common perception fails to recognize a lease as being such. Thus, many cooperators under “proprietary leases” are so focused on their being shareholders in the corporation, that they lose track of the fact that they are also conventional tenants in a conventional landlord-tenant relationship.

Applied to a Cooperative


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