Wednesday, December 10, 2014

ALERT - Throw Out Your Old Form Leases Immediately

Residential leases are now required to contain a notice to tenant(s) concerning the existence of sprinkler systems.

“Sprinkler system” shall mean a system of piping and appurtenances designed and installed in accordance with generally accepted standards so that heat from a fire will automatically cause water to be discharged over the fire area to extinguish it or prevent its further spread.
See Executive Law 155-a.

Read the new law at Real Property Law 231-a.

The law specifically requires:

  • Notice in bold face type;
  • Notice that a maintained and operative sprinkler system in the leased premises is in - EXISTENCE OR NON-EXISTENCE; &
  • The last date of maintenance and inspection of any EXISTING sprinkler system.
The Bill's Justification states that "According to the Fire Sprinkler Initiative, the availability of smoke detectors, coupled with a maintained and operative sprinkler system installed in a residence, decreases the risk of dying in a fire by over 80%."

As a person that is into living, that statistic is jaw-dropping in support of the existence of sprinklers in residential housing. At the least, this new law provides tenants with the knowledge to make an informed choice as to whether to live in a premises without a sprinkler system. 

Real estate professionals should now immediately throw out any of their old leases and make sure to have a new residential lease prepared that complies with Real Property Law 231-a. Also, cooperative boards must not forget that they are leasing property as well. So, cooperatives that amend their proprietary leases must comply with RPL 231-a or risk the lease being held void.