131.15 Window Guards

§ 131.15 Window Guards.
   (a)   Window guards required.
      (1)   The owner, manager, lessee, agent or other person who manages or controls a multiple dwelling, including, but not limited to, owners of condominium units and the board of directors of a cooperative, shall provide, install, and maintain, a window guard of a type and installation in accordance with the specifications of the Department set forth in 24 RCNY Chapter 12, on the windows of each apartment in which a child or children ten (10) years of age and under reside, and on the windows, if any, in the public halls of a multiple dwelling in which such children reside.
      (2)   This section shall not apply to windows giving access to fire escapes or to a window on the first floor that is a required means of egress from the dwelling unit. It shall be the duty of each such person who manages or controls a multiple dwelling to ascertain whether such a child resides therein, in accordance with the notice requirements of the Department in 24 RCNY Chapter 12.
   (b)   No refusal of window guards by occupant. No tenant or occupant of a multiple dwelling unit, or other person, shall obstruct or interfere with the installation of window guards required by subdivision (a) of this section, nor shall any person remove such window guards.
   (c)   No refusal to install by owners. No owner, manager, lessee or other person who manages or controls a multiple dwelling shall refuse a written request of a tenant or occupant of a multiple dwelling unit, to install window guards regardless of whether such is required by subdivision (a), except that this section shall not apply to windows giving access to fire escapes.
   (d)   Declaration of nuisance.
      (1)   Failure to install or maintain window guards pursuant to this section is hereby declared to constitute a nuisance and a condition dangerous to life and health, pursuant to § 17-145 of the Administrative Code.
      (2)   Every person obligated to comply with the provisions of subdivision (a) of this section is hereby ordered to abate such nuisance by installing and maintaining required window guards.
      (3)   Whenever a nuisance or condition is found to exist in violation of this section, the Department may order the person or persons obligated to install and maintain window guards to do so. In the event such order is not complied with within five (5) days after service of such order, the Department may request an agency of the City to execute such order pursuant to the provisions of § 17-147 of the Administrative Code and shall be entitled to enforce its rights for reimbursement of expenses incurred thereby, pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 1, Title 17 of the Administrative Code. If such order is executed by HPD, or its successor agency, the expense of execution may be recovered by such agency pursuant to Subchapter 5 of Chapter 2 of Title 27 of the Administrative Code.
   (e)   Enforcement by Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Orders to install or repair window guards in multiple dwellings required by this section and any rules of the Department may be issued by the Commissioner and by HPD or any successor agency on behalf of the Commissioner.

Windows guard and lead paint notice 2023 

Include a notice about owner responsibilities under the law with each lease and provide a pamphlet informing occupants about lead. The notice must be provided in English (Protect Your Child from Lead Poisoning and Window Falls) and Spanish (Proteja a su niño del envenenamiento por plomo y de las caídas por las ventanas). The same notice asks tenants of multiple dwellings (buildings of 3 or more apartments) whether there is a child under 11, in which case window guards are required to be installed by the owner. There is also a requirement that owners physically inspect units whose occupants do not respond to the notice to determine if there is a child under six residing in the unit. For more details about the inspection requirement see §11-03 of Chapter 11 of Title 28 of the Rules of the City of New York.


Section of the Law: HMC § 27-2043.1


After check out we will send you automatic e-mail with the link to the pdf file.  The doc is FREE at no charge.


STEP 1: PRINT Windows guard and lead paint notice 

STEP 2 : MAIL TO TENANT Jan 1st to Jan 10 so tenant will have time to return it 


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NYC WINDOW GUARD LAW-New York City law (known as Health Code Section 131.15) requires landlords of buildings with three or more apartments to provide and install approved window guards on windows in an apartment where a child 10 years old or younger lives. Landlords must also install window guards in hallway windows.

Your building's owner or superintendent must:

·         Install window guards in your apartment if your building has more than three apartments, or if you request them.

·         Fix any window guards that need repair.

·         Install window guards in all public hallway windows if a child 10 or younger resides in the building.

Each year between January 1 and January 15, your building owner must give you an Annual Notice form -click to download (PDF) to complete indicating whether or not children 10 or younger live in the apartment, or if you want window guards for any reason. You must return the form to your landlord by February 15. You can also request window guards in writing at any time.


§12-01 Definitions.

When used in these regulations, the following words or terms shall have the following meaning:  Child or children. "Child or children" shall mean any person 10 years of age or younger.  Department. "Department" shall mean the New York City Department of Health.  Installation of window guard. "Installation of window guard" shall mean proper installation and maintenance of window guards in a manner approved by the Department.  Landlord. "Landlord" shall mean owner, lessee, agent, or other person who manages or controls a multiple dwelling or dwelling unit.  Tenant. "Tenant" shall mean lessee or other occupant regularly residing within a dwelling unit, regardless of whether said occupant is a party to a lease agreement.

§12-02 Lease Notice.

(a) All leases offered to tenants in multiple dwellings shall contain, as a rider to the lease, a notice the form and content of which shall be as specified in Appendix A hereto. (b) Said notice shall be printed in not less than ten (10) point type, and shall bear the title "Window Guard Required" underlined and in bold face. (c) Said notice shall be separately signed and dated by the tenant who signed the lease indicating clearly whether a child ten years of age or under is, or will be, residing in the leased premises.

§12-03 Annual Notice.

(a) Each year the landlord shall deliver to each dwelling unit, a notice, the form and content of which shall be in English and Spanish as specified in Appendix B, no earlier than January 1 and no later than January 16 of the year for which the notice is delivered. The foregoing  otwithstanding, if such notice is delivered to the tenant by enclosure with the rent bill pursuant to §12-03(b)(3) below, then the notice may be delivered by the landlord at such time as the rent bill for the month of January is delivered. In addition said notice shall be so delivered within thirty (30) days of a change in occupancy not involving a written lease. This provision shall be effective January 1, 1987. (b) The landlord shall deliver said notice by any one of the following methods:

(1) by first class mail addressed to the tenant at the dwelling unit;

(2) by hand delivery to the tenant at the dwelling unit;

(3) by enclosure with the rent bill.

(c) If by February 15th of the year for which the notice was sent a landlord does not have a written communication signed by the tenant, and does not otherwise have actual knowledge of the need or desire for window guards, then the landlord or his agent shall at reasonable times inspect the dwelling unit to ascertain whether a child 10 years of age or younger resides in the dwelling and if so, whether approved window guards are properly installed and maintained.

(d) If by March 1 a landlord who has fully complied with subdivisions (b) and (c) of this section has been unable to ascertain the need or desire for window guards in any dwelling unit or units, then he shall write to the Department's Window Falls Prevention Program, 125 Worth Street, New York, New York 10013, fully describing what efforts have been made to comply with §131.15 of the New York City Health Code and these regulations, for the purpose of requesting assistance in regard to his further compliance. Such request shall include the name and telephone number of the landlord or his representative. Every window in the apartment must have a window guard, except windows leading to fire escapes. In buildings with fire escapes, window guards must be left off one window in each ground-floor apartment so the window can be used as an emergency exit. All public hallway windows must have window guards, too



What NYC Building Owners Need to Know About Window Guards

For properties with three or more units, New York City law requires that building owners install and maintain window guards for apartments where a child age 10 years or younger lives. Every window in the apartment, except those leading to fire escapes, must have window guards. These metal or aluminum devices are designed to prevent children from falling out of windows. They are different from burglar bars.

Window guards and legal requirements

The law has several requirements:

Notices. When tenants sign a lease, the landlord must provide a window guard notice form within the first 30 days of occupancy. In addition, building owners must send an annual notice regarding window guards between January 1 and January 16. Tenants are required to complete and return the form to notify the landlord if a child age 10 years or younger lives in the apartment. These forms can also be used to request the guards for any other reason, such as to protect visiting children or for personal safety concerns.

Installation. Where required or requested, landlords must install window guards on every window in the apartment, even on the first floor, with the exception of windows leading to fire escapes. Window guards must be left off one window in each ground-floor apartment to allow use of the window as an emergency exit. In addition, all public hallway windows must have window guards for buildings with children age 10 years or younger.

Compliance. These metal guards must meet the requirements of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which has approved many types of these devices. Approved window guards are a minimum of 15 inches tall, with horizontal bars spaced 4.5 inches apart. The New York City Department of Health maintains a list of approved devices online. Guards and any other limiting devices should be appropriate to the window type (e.g., double hung, casement, sliding, etc.).

Building owners and landlords are responsible for installation and maintenance of these protective devices. For co-operative buildings, the responsibility remains with management. For owners in condominium buildings, the individual unit owners are responsible for installing and maintaining the guards. (Some condo managers do install them, but they’re still the owner’s responsibility.) Even in condo buildings, management is still responsible for guards in the hallway.


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For more information about what is required, see the laws that are referenced and the rules applicable to your city and state. This page is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice, professional advice or a statement of law. You may wish to consult with an attorney.