New Law Requires Sprinkler System Clauses in Leases
By Adam Leitman Bailey and Dov Treiman
Effective Dec. 3, 2014, all residential leases in New York State require a notice to the tenant about the presence or absence of sprinkler systems in the “leased premises.” The new law, while defining what a sprinkler system is, does not define what a “lease” is or what “premises” are. The law is effective through the entire state of New York and appears to cover both main leases and subleases as well as new leases and renewal leases and makes no exceptions for premises that are governmentally regulated or even governmentally run. Notably, while stating what must exist, the law has no enforcement mechanism on its face and no penalty stated for noncompliance.
The law, Real Property Law Section 231-a, denominated “Sprinkler system notice in residential leases,” is short and simple. It says, “(1) Every residential lease shall provide conspicuous notice in bold face type as to the existence or non-existence of a maintained and operative sprinkler system in the leased premises. (2) For purposes of this section, “sprinkler system” shall have the same meaning as defined in section one hundred fifty-five-a of the executive law. (3) If there is a maintained and operative sprinkler system in the leased premises, the residential lease agreement shall provide further notice as to the last date of maintenance and inspection.”
While most leases call themselves “leases,” there are other names as well. Even where the name is modified in some manner, common perception fails to recognize a lease as being such. Thus, many cooperators under “proprietary leases” are so focused on their being shareholders in the corporation, they lose track of the fact that they are also conventional tenants in a conventional landlord-tenant relationship.
Original content here.