senate Bill S4243

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Relates to the installation of radiator covers

download bill text pdf

Sponsored By

Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

do you support this bill?

Actions

view actions (2)
Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to judiciary
Mar 15, 2013 referred to judiciary

S4243 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A749
Current Committee:
Senate Judiciary
Law Section:
Real Property Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §235-b, RP L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: A3181
2009-2010: A9513A

S4243 - Bill Texts

view summary

Relates to the installation of radiator covers.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S4243

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the real property law, in relation to
the installation of radiator covers

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To require managers of residential
buildings, if requested by a tenant, to install radiator covers in
units where a child twelve years or younger resides.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1. Section 235-b of the real
property law is amended by inserting a new subdivision 2 and
renumbering the current subdivisions accordingly.

§ 235-b(2)(a): If a child age twelve or younger resides within a
tenant's dwelling, a landlord shall, at the written request of the
tenant, be responsible for installing a radiator cover on any
uncovered radiator that carries fluids at one hundred sixty-five
degrees Fahrenheit or higher and is located in the tenant's dwelling.
The. landlord shall have ninety days after receipt of such request to
complete the installation.

§ 235-b(2)(b): The failure of the landlord to install a radiator cover
or covers within the ninety day period, following a written request by
the tenant, shall be deemed a hazard to the occupants, age 12 or
younger. In any case in which a tenant shall make a payment in order
to install a requested radiator cover, following the failure of the
landlord to install such cover in the appropriate time, the tenant may
deduct the reasonable cost of such installation from the rent and
shall not be liable for eviction on the grounds of that deduction.

JUSTIFICATION: On March 10, 2009, the New York State Appellate
Division Court, Second Department, ruled in Utkan v Szuwala that
landlords are not responsible for protecting children from properly
operating radiators. In the case, the plaintiff; Ms. Utkan wanted to
recover damages for personal injuries sustained by her infant after it
was burned by an exposed radiator. Ms. Utkan contacted her landlord
Ms. Szuwala about the infant's injuries and requested that she provide
a radiator cover to prevent future incidents. Ms. Szuwala refused, and
when the child was injured on an additional occasion, Ms. Utkan
brought her case to court.

In the Appellate Division's order of dismissal, they cited Rivera v
Nelson Realty, LLC (7 NY3d at 5:32), which states that Plaintiffs do
not claim that the radiator that injured the infant plaintiff needed
repair, or was defective in any way. Plaintiff's claim is that an
uncovered radiator in good working order, though not a hazard in a
home occupied only by adults, is dangerous to children. No duty to
remedy this alleged hazard is imposed by the Multiple Dwelling Law or
arises under common law by virtue of the lease. Accordingly, any duty
to protect children from uncovered radiators remains that of the
tenant, unless some other statute or regulation imposes it on the land
lord. THE DECISION WHETHER RADIATOR COVERS MUST BE SUPPLIED BY
LANDLORDS IS THUS LEFT TO LEGISLATORS AND REGULATORS, who are in the
best position to balance the harm prevented by this safety measure
against its cost - a cost which, if imposed on landlords, becomes part
of the overall cost of rental housing."


Due to the Appellate Division's deferral to the State Legislature for
clarification on this issue, I am introducing legislation to require
landlords to install radiator covers, per written request, in units in
which a child twelve years or younger resides. This action will
decrease future injuries to children due to extremely hot radiators
and clarify a landlord's responsibility for their safe operation.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Senate bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Undetermined

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after
it shall have become a law.

view full text
download pdf
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  4243

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             March 15, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. BRESLIN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Judiciary

AN ACT to amend the real property law, in relation to  the  installation
  of radiator covers

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Section 235-b of the real property law, as added by chapter
597 of the laws of 1975, subdivision 3 as amended by chapter 403 of  the
laws  of 1983, paragraph (c) of subdivision 3 as added by chapter 116 of
the laws of 1997, is amended to read as follows:
  S 235-b. Warranty of habitability. 1. In every written or  oral  lease
or  rental  agreement  for  residential  premises the landlord or lessor
shall be deemed to covenant and warrant that the premises so  leased  or
rented  and  all areas used in connection therewith in common with other
tenants or residents are fit for  human  habitation  and  for  the  uses
reasonably  intended by the parties and that the occupants of such prem-
ises shall not be subjected to any conditions which would be  dangerous,
hazardous  or detrimental to their life, health or safety. When any such
condition has been caused by the misconduct of the tenant or  lessee  or
persons under his direction or control, it shall not constitute a breach
of such covenants and warranties.
  2.  (A)  IF A CHILD OF AGE TWELVE OR YOUNGER RESIDES WITHIN A TENANT'S
DWELLING A LANDLORD SHALL, AT THE WRITTEN  REQUEST  OF  THE  TENANT,  BE
RESPONSIBLE  FOR  THE  INSTALLATION OF A RADIATOR COVER ON ANY UNCOVERED
RADIATOR THAT: CARRIES STEAM, WATER, OR  OTHER  FLUIDS  AT  TEMPERATURES
EXCEEDING  ONE  HUNDRED SIXTY-FIVE DEGREES FAHRENHEIT; ARE NOT CURRENTLY
COVERED IN A MANNER THAT ENSURES  THAT  THE  TEMPERATURE  OF  THE  OUTER
SURFACE  DOES  NOT  EXCEED  ONE HUNDRED NINE DEGREES FAHRENHEIT; AND ARE
LOCATED IN THE TENANT'S DWELLING. THE LANDLORD SHALL  HAVE  NINETY  DAYS
AFTER  RECEIPT OF SUCH WRITTEN REQUEST TO COMPLETE THE INSTALLATION OF A
RADIATOR COVER OR COVERS.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD04431-01-3

S. 4243                             2

  (B) ANY FAILURE OF THE LANDLORD TO INSTALL A RADIATOR COVER,  PURSUANT
TO  PARAGRAPH  (A)  OF  THIS SUBDIVISION, SHALL BE DEEMED TO SUBJECT THE
OCCUPANTS OF THE DWELLING TO CONDITIONS DANGEROUS, HAZARDOUS, OR  DETRI-
MENTAL  TO  THEIR LIFE, HEALTH, OR SAFETY. IN ANY CASE IN WHICH A TENANT
SHALL  MAKE  A PAYMENT IN ORDER TO INSTALL A REQUESTED RADIATOR COVER OR
COVERS, FOLLOWING THE FAILURE OF THE LANDLORD  TO  INSTALL  SUCH  COVERS
WITHIN  NINETY DAYS OF RECEIVING A WRITTEN REQUEST PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH
(A) OF THIS SUBDIVISION, THE TENANT MAY DEDUCT FROM THE RENT THE REASON-
ABLE COST FOR THE INSTALLATION AND SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR  EVICTION  ON
THE GROUND OF THAT DEDUCTION.
  [2]  3.   Any agreement by a lessee or tenant of a dwelling waiving or
modifying his rights as set forth in  this  section  shall  be  void  as
contrary to public policy.
  [3]  4.  In determining the amount of damages sustained by a tenant as
a result of a breach of the warranty  set  forth  in  the  section,  the
court;
  (a) need not require any expert testimony; [and]
  (b)  shall,  to the extent the warranty is breached or cannot be cured
by reason of a strike or other labor dispute which is not caused  prima-
rily by the individual landlord or lessor and such damages are attribut-
able  to  such  strike,  exclude  recovery to such extent, except to the
extent of the net savings, if any, to the landlord or lessor  by  reason
of  such  strike  or  labor  dispute allocable to the tenant's premises,
provided, however, that the landlord or [lesser] LESSOR has made a  good
faith attempt, where practicable, to cure the breach[.]; AND
  (c)  where the premises is subject to regulation pursuant to the local
emergency housing rent control law, the emergency tenant protection  act
of nineteen seventy-four, the rent stabilization law of nineteen hundred
sixty-nine  or  the  city rent and rehabilitation law, reduce the amount
awarded hereunder by the total amount of any rent reduction  ordered  by
the  state  division  of  housing and community renewal pursuant to such
laws or act, awarded to the tenant, from the effective date of such rent
reduction order, that relates to one or more matters for which relief is
awarded hereunder.
  S 2. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day  after  it  shall
have become a law.

Comments

Open Legislation comments facilitate discussion of New York State legislation. All comments are subject to moderation. Comments deemed off-topic, commercial, campaign-related, self-promotional; or that contain profanity or hate speech; or that link to sites outside of the nysenate.gov domain are not permitted, and will not be published. Comment moderation is generally performed Monday through Friday.

By contributing or voting you agree to the Terms of Participation and verify you are over 13.