Safety tips for New York renters

Know what potential safety risks you should look out for during your upcoming apartment hunt.

During your hunt for the perfect apartment in New York, it is a good idea to have a solid idea of potential risks to be on the lookout for. A unit that looks ideal could contain potential dangers and signs of superintendent negligence that may lead to a personal injury if you do not know what to look for. So what should you keep your eyes peeled for during your search?

Make sure the locks have been changed

If you are not the first tenant to live in a unit, someone else may have keys to your doors, which means someone else may have access to your belongings once you are all moved in. Make sure that all the locks in the unit have been changed and that you and the superintendent are the only ones who have keys.

Check for a fire extinguisher

No matter how safe you are when it comes to fire risks, there are simply no guarantees, especially when you live in a building with multiple people. That is why you need to have a fire extinguisher either in your apartment or closeby on the premises. Additionally, check to make sure the fire extinguisher's class is designed to handle common household fires, as there are different classes of extinguishers that handle different kinds of fire, such as metal fires and electrical fires.

Get a basement apartment with windows

Going back to fires, if you are looking at your options for basement units, you should make sure you have a window or a second exit point in case there is a fire and the door is either blocked or unsafe. It is also a good idea to double-check to make sure the basement apartment has all the necessary cosmetic alterations and permits that make it a legal living spot. Tenants living in illegally converted basement units sometimes find themselves evicted with no warning whatsoever, leaving them out on the street even though they have paid their rent and been model tenants.

Ask about mold

The biggest issue with mold is that it can exist for a while before it is discovered. Specifically, mold has been known to grow in such spaces as attics, crawl spaces and drywall. Signs that you could have a mold issue in your apartment include respiratory issues, eye irritation and headaches. The symptoms may be completely unrelated to mold, but it is always best to err on the side of caution.

Even if you do all your homework before signing a lease for your next New York apartment, there is still the possibility that you could become injured due to your superintendent's or landlord's negligence. Get in touch with an attorney to explore your legal options and protect your rights.