Dominick Calsolaro

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AN ORDINANCE REQUIRING THE INSTALLATION OF WINDOW GUARDS IN CERTAIN RESIDENTIAL DWELLING UNITS

Published on 5/1/2008

An introduction by Council Members Calsolaro, McLaughlin, and Smith

Ordinance Number 62.81.06 (As Amended)

AN ORDINANCE REQUIRING THE INSTALLATION OF WINDOW GUARDS IN CERTAIN RESIDENTIAL DWELLING UNITS

The City of Albany, in Common Council convened, does hereby ordain and enact:

Section 1. Chapter 133 of the Code of the City of Albany is amended by adding thereto a new Article X-A entitled “Window Guards” to read as follows:

Section 133-63.1. Title and legislative intent.

This Article shall be known as “Window Guards.” The purpose of this Article is to insure the protection of young children from deaths or injuries due to falls from windows. Window guards save lives and therefore should be installed in apartments and in public hallway windows where children age ten years old or younger live. Window guards are a simple but important way to help protect children.

Section 133-63.2. Definitions.

Child or children – Any person ten years of age or younger.

Division – The City of Albany Division of Buildings and Codes.

Landlord – The owner, agent, or other person who manages or controls a rental unit.

Rental unit – Every building of residential or mixed occupancy and having more than one rental unit. rental units located above the first floor.

Tenant – The lessee or other occupant regularly residing within a rental unit.

Section 133-63.3. Lease notice.

A. All leases offered to tenants in rental units shall contain, as a rider to the lease, a notice in the following form and content: “You are required by law to have window guards installed in all windows if a child ten years of age or younger lives in your apartment. Your landlord is required by law to install such window guards. It is a violation of law to refuse, interfere with installation, or remove window guards where required.”

B. Said notice shall be printed in not less than ten point type, and shall bear the title “Window Guard Required” underlined and in boldface.

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.

D. If the landlord does not require a written lease, said notice described in this section shall be provided separately prior to the tenant taking possession.

E. No communication from a landlord or tenant shall indicate that the installation of window guards is optional or in any manner dependent upon payments by the tenant.

Section 133-63.4. Tenant Obligation to Provide Information and Access.

A. No tenant in a rental unit shall refuse or unreasonably fail to provide accurate and truthful information regarding the residency of children therein, or refuse, prevent, or obstruct any inspection required by this Article.

B. A landlord who has been denied access to a rental unit for the purpose of installing window guards required by this Article, shall notify in writing the Division. Said statement shall specify the landlord’s efforts to gain access and the circumstances of denial. The requirements of this Article may be temporarily waived by the Director of the Division until access can by obtained.

C. Tenants must respond to mandated inquiries by landlords as to their window guard needs. It is a violation of the law to fail to do this. Tenants must also provide access and permit installation of guards and stops, where required.

Section 133-63.6. Procedures for Requesting a Window Guard Variance.

A. All requests for variances must be submitted in writing for review by the Division. Requests for variances will be entertained only if submitted by the owner, agent or manager of a building. When necessary, the presence of the landlord or his agent may be required to amplify and respond to questions.

B. Requests for variances will be entertained when the installation of a window guard proves to be impossible for structural reasons or when installation according to the standards is infeasible. Variances may permit non-compliance or deviation from the standards.

C. Letters of application should include the following:

1) Name, address and telephone number of the applicant;
2) Address of the premises for which the variance is being requested, and the type and number of windows involved;
3) Reason for the request;
4) Description of the conditions warranting the request including a photo and/or mechanical drawing of the windows in question, depicting the particular structural aberration making the request necessary.

D. After approval, all variances are subject to review, renewal, or retraction should abuse of the procedural requirements be identified or should conditions change.

Section 133-63.8. Specifications for Window Guards.

Window guards shall be installed on all windows of an apartments located above the first floor where a child or children reside. All interior public hallway windows shall also have window guards if a child or children reside in the building. The Director of the Division shall develop standards for the installation of and materials for window guards and such standards shall cover installation in double hung windows and other types of windows.

Section 133-63.9. Penalties.

Any person who violates any provisions of the Article shall be subject to a fine of not less than $300 and not more than $1,000.

Section 2. This ordinance shall take effect 60 days after its enactment into law and shall apply to all leases entered into after the effective date.

Approved as to form








Corporation Counsel

TO: JOHN MARSOLAIS, CITY CLERK

FROM: DOMINICK CALSOLARO AND CAROLYN MCLAUGHLIN

DATE: July 24, 2006

RE: REQUEST FOR COMMON COUNCIL LEGISLATION
SUPPORTING MEMORANDUM

ORDINANCE NUMBER

TITLE: AN ORDINANCE REQUIRING THE INSTALLATION OF WINDOW GUARDS IN CERTAIN RESIDENTIAL DWELLING UNITS

GENERAL PURPOSE OF LEGISLATION: The ordinance requires the installation of window guards in all buildings with more than one rental unit where a child or children ten years of age or younger reside. The owner must install and maintain the window guards and provide notice to the tenant that they are required. The tenant must notify the owner of children living in the apartment and may not refuse installation. The ordinance also allows the owner to obtain a variance where installation is infeasible.

NECESSITY FOR LEGISLATION: Window guards save lives, buy many children each year fall out of windows where they are not installed. Properly installed window guards can prevent falls from windows.

FISCAL IMPACT: None.