A person’s home is their castle.  Home is the one place our families should be safe. New York State enacted the Multiple Dwelling Laws to protect tenants, their families and guests almost 100 years ago.  However, many landlords still fail to provide safe housing, resulting in countless unnecessary injuries and deaths every year.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to negligence by a landlord, call the successful, experienced, skilled, knowledgeable and hard-working New York Landlord Liability Lawyers at Sonin & Genis. We are proud that one of our verdicts in a personal injury case was written up as one of the top jury verdicts of the year in the National Law Journal, New York Law Journal, New York Magazine, and ALM Verdictsearch.

Landlords that choose to fail to comply with safety standards and needlessly expose people to unnecessary harm should be held accountable for all injuries that their negligence is a substantial contributing factor in causing.  Safety is no accident.

People get injured by tripping or slipping due to defective conditions. Ceilings collapse and injure us.  Inadequate security creates opportunities that causes and allows criminals to injure us. Children get poisoned and suffer permanent neurological and neuropsychological injuries by illegal lead based paint. Defective elevators harm us.  Sadly, the list goes on.

For more than 30 years, the New York landlord liability lawyers at Sonin & Genis have been protecting residents from damages caused by negligent landlords. Known as the “heavy hitters with heart,” we treat our clients with compassion while tirelessly pursuing the parties responsible for our clients’ pain and suffering. If you or a loved one has been injured or assaulted in their building, you need the Sonin & Genis landlord and premises liability lawyers fighting for your best interests immediately.

The landlord, the owner of the premises, is required to keep its property safe for all members of our community and for the public good.

The purpose of the law is to protect all members of our community.

Mult. Dwelling Law § 2 states:  It  is  hereby  declared  that … insufficient   protection  against  the  defective  provision for escape from fire, and improper sanitation of multiple dwellings in certain areas of the  state are  a  menace  to  the  health, safety, morals, welfare, and reasonable comfort of the citizens of the state; and  that  the  establishment  and maintenance of proper housing standards requiring sufficient light, air, sanitation  and protection from fire hazards are essential to the public  welfare.  Therefore the provisions hereinafter  prescribed  are  enacted and  their  necessity  in  the  public  interest is hereby declared as a matter of legislative determination.

At Sonin & Genis, we know the law that is necessary to protect the rights of everyone that gets harmed due to unsafe premises.

Mult. Dwelling Law §  78 provides that:  Every  multiple  dwelling, including its roof or roofs, and every part thereof and the lot upon  which  it  is  situated, shall  be  kept  in  good  repair.  The owner shall be responsible for compliance with the provisions of this section.

Mult. Dwelling Law §  80 provides:  The owner shall keep all and every part of a multiple dwelling, the lot on which  it  is  situated,  and  the roofs, yards,  courts, passages, areas or alleys appurtenant thereto, clean and free from  vermin,  dirt,  filth,  garbage  or  other  thing  or  matter dangerous to life or health.

Unfortunately, there are still many landlords that break the law and fail to properly maintain their premises and needlessly subject members of our community to unnecessary harm.


There are many different reasons why someone may require the services of an experienced New York landlord liability lawyer:  in order to hold accountable the parties responsible for safely maintaining their property when they choose to violate basic safety rules and standards, and to be fully compensated for all harms and losses sustained. Both serve to make our community safer for all members of our community.

Some of the typical acts of negligence that can be a substantial contributing factor in causing death, rape, assault, broken bones and fractures, burn injuries, lead poisoning, and more are:

  • Broken or defective stairs and insufficient stairwell lighting
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Missing or inadequate handrails
  • Broken or uneven floors and walking surfaces
  • Falling ceilings
  • Unsafe elevators that mis-level, have broken door sensors, over-speed/freefall, get stuck between floors
  • Leaks
  • Rats and vermin
  • Faulty wiring and electrical installations
  • Inadequate Fire protection
  • Unmaintained fire prevention and warning devices, smoke detectors or sprinkler systems
  • Old and Illegal Lead-based paint and asbestos poisoning
  • Toxic mold or fumes
  • Broken doors, locks, and intercoms
  • Inadequate security
  • Cracked, broken windows
  • Failure to use safety glass
  • Failure to install window guards
  • Failure to properly maintain adequate fires escapes
  • Broken, cracked or uneven sidewalks
  • Failure to properly clean and inadequate sanitation
  • Building and safety code violations

Landlord and premises liability cases are rarely straightforward. They involve a wide range of factors, laws, and parties, including NYS Multi Dwelling Laws, NYC Administrative Code, NYS and NYC Codes, Rules and Regulations, ANSI, ASME, BOCA, National Safety Council, and other Codes. At Sonin & Genis, our experienced lawyers have earned the reputation as “the go-to lawyers,” because many of our cases are referred to us from other attorneys. They know that we are experienced and knowledgeable about all aspects of New York landlord liability law and have helped countless renters obtain full compensation after being unnecessarily harmed.


The Sonin & Genis New York landlord liability lawyers understand all of the ways in which a landlord can be held responsible for the safety of their tenants, and are determined to get justice and compensation for victims of premise liability. The following are just some of the reasonable precautions and steps that should be taken, negligent landlords chose not to take:

  • Proper and adequate Safety Inspections performed on a regular and routine basis, and follow-up inspections with the use of written checklists to see if there are any potentially unsafe conditions, and to ensure that proper repairs are promptly made
  • Placement of proper and adequate warnings devices, signs, barriers and barricades
  • Proper and adequate staffing and training, supervision and monitoring of staff, managing agents and premises
  • Listening to and properly and promptly responding to complaints, and keeping proper and adequate records of complaints and follow-ups to them and repairs
  • Adequate screening must be done to identify employees or tenants in a residential complex that could have a criminal background and place other tenants at risk
  • Precautions should be taken according to law regarding animals on the premises that might endanger tenants
  • Doors, locks, intercoms, windows, roofs, fire escapes, fences and gates must be built, inspected and maintained according to regulations and building codes
  • Stairwells, steps, floors, walkways, courtyards, lobbies, laundry rooms, roofs, sidewalks must be built and maintained according to regulations and building codes
  • Environmental and health hazards such as exposure to lead paint and rental property fixtures in need of repair are also prosecutable if they lead to injuries
  • The landlord is responsible for ensuring that all staff maintain a safe environment for tenants, such as janitors placing ‘Wet Floor’ signs where necessary to avoid slip-and-fall injuries
  • Hiring Safety Consultants, Engineers, Architects and experts before injury occurs to see how to prevent needless harm from occurring
  • Joining Safety Associations and learning and becoming familiar with good and acceptable safety standards, practices and procedures, and the adhering to these standards.

As a tenant, you have legal rights intended to guarantee your safety. If your landlord fails to meet these requirements and you or a loved one is injured, Sonin & Genis’ New York landlord liability lawyers will investigate your case and aggressively pursue the responsible parties. Where necessary, we will have qualified experts perform inspections to identify and detect potentially dangerous conditions, such as:

  • Broken gates, locks and intercoms
  • Broken windows
  • Broken fire escapes
  • Leaking roofs
  • Missing or defective smoke detectors;
  • Broken sprinklers
  • Expired or inadequate fire extinguishers
  • Defective old wiring
  • Inadequate walls, floors, ceilings and door that lack proper fire resistance
  • Broken doors, stairs, walking surfaces, lights, handrails
  • Unsanitary and unsafe conditions due in landlord’s failure to clean, such as rats, vermin and infestation of insects

At Sonin & Genis, we will search the records of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the Buildings Department, the Department of Health and other sources to learn of prior violations of Codes, and prior lawsuits against the landlord.


Accidents can cause a multitude of injuries including death, Traumatic Brain Injury, paralysis, rape, comas, spine injuries, broken bones, fractures, damages to discs, nerves, muscles and tissues, to joints and their tendons, ligaments, nerves and cartilage – especially vulnerable joints like knees, shoulders, wrists, feet, ankles and elbows. Protruding, bulging or herniated discs can be disabling. Other disabling injuries include: torn rotator cuffs to shoulders, torn meniscus and chondromalacia to knees, carpal tunnel syndrome to wrists, and other injuries.

Trauma to joints can cause or aggravate painful and disabling arthritis and degenerative joint disease. Surgery may help but not cure these injuries. Recovering from these life-altering injuries is not only painful; it requires costly and time-consuming medical treatment, doctor visits and rehabilitation. Costly medical treatment and doctors visits are required to treat these injuries.

Victims are often temporarily or permanently unable to work, or work with difficulty, limitations or restrictions and may have a diminished work life and diminished earnings because of their injuries.

You need a lawyer that understands and knows the medicine, engineering and biomechanics of injury and is able to educate and teach a jury the significance and permanent consequences of these harms and losses, so that a fair jury can provide the helps and fixes that justice requires. You need a lawyer that has the knowledge and ability to successfully cross-examine the stable of defense doctors and litigation experts that the insurance companies routinely rely on to deny liability, causation and damages to deprive injured people their fair compensation.

We have an excellent medical, forensic and engineering reference library.  We read and research medical and other journals regularly.  Our lawyers have taught Continuing Legal Education Classes and published articles on handling these types of cases and these issues.  Our knowledge, hard work and skill have enabled us to win many significant verdicts on behalf of our clients.  

It’s important to act quickly. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by negligence involving premises, buildings, grounds and their sidewalks, that is owned, operated or funded by the City, such as Housing Preservation & Development [HPD] or the Department of Education, a County, a Public Authority, such as the New York City Housing Authority [NYCHA], the New York City Health & Hospitals Corporation [NYCH&HC], the Metropolitan Transportation Authority [MTA], New York City Transit Authority [NYCTA], Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority [MABSTOA], Metro-North, Long Island Rail Road, New Jersey Transit Authority, Port Authority of NY & NJ, New York Sports Authority (or countless other public entities), the State or Federal government – a Notice of Claim is usually required, a legal document that explains your claim, and must usually be prepared by your attorneys and served on the municipality within 90 days of injury, and sometimes even sooner. Some private entities receive federal funds, and a claim must be filed with the federal government. Because wherever possible records must be obtained and reviewed before the Notice of Claim is prepared and filed, time is of the essence and it is vital that you act quickly!

At Sonin & Genis, we know that you have more important things to worry about than getting records and preparing and filing legal documents, so we take of everything so that you can focus on taking care of your family, so call the experienced New York Landlord lawyers at Sonin & Genis.

There are short Statutes of Limitations within which to commence a lawsuit to protect your rights, so it is important to act quickly!

If you or a loved one has injured in an accident call Sonin & Genis (718-561-4444) to speak to an expert New York landlord liability lawyer today.

*Sonin & Genis has taught CLE classes on landlord liability cases