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New York Consolidated Laws, Multiple Dwelling Law - MDW § 248. Single room occupancy

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1. It shall be unlawful to occupy any frame multiple dwelling for single room occupancy.  It shall be unlawful to occupy any other existing class A dwelling or part thereof as a rooming house or furnished room house or for single room occupancy unless such dwelling or part shall conform to the provisions of this section and to such other provisions of this chapter as were applicable to such dwelling before such conversion.  This section shall not be construed to prohibit the letting by a family of one or more rooms within their apartment to not more than a total of four boarders, roomers or lodgers provided, however, that every room in such apartment shall have free and unobstructed access to each required exit from such apartment as required by the provisions of paragraphs a, b and c of subdivision four of this section.  A dwelling occupied pursuant to this section shall be deemed a class A dwelling and dwelling units occupied pursuant to this section shall be occupied for permanent residence purposes, as defined in paragraph a of subdivision eight of section four of this chapter.

2. Any such dwelling may be so occupied without increasing the number of stairs.

3. The number of rooms shall not be increased nor shall the light or ventilation of any room be impaired.

4. a. No room in any apartment shall be so occupied unless each room therein shall have free and unobstructed access to each required means of egress from the dwelling without passing through any sleeping room, bathroom or water-closet compartment.

b. There shall be access to a second means of egress within the apartment without passing through any public stair or public hall.  On and after July first, nineteen hundred fifty-seven every tenement used or occupied for single room occupancy in whole or in part under the provisions of this section and which does not have at least two means of egress accessible to each apartment and extending from the ground story to the roof, shall be provided with at least two means of egress, or, in lieu of such egress, every stair hall or public hall, and every hall or passage within an apartment, shall be equipped on each story with one or more automatic sprinkler heads approved by the department.  Elevator shafts in such tenements shall be completely enclosed with fireproof or other incombustible material and the doors to such shafts shall be fireproof or shall be covered on all sides with incombustible material.

c. Where access to a required means of egress is provided through a room, such access to such room shall be through a clear opening at least thirty inches wide extending from floor to ceiling and such opening shall not be equipped with any door or door frame, or with any device by means of which the opening may be closed, concealed or obstructed.

d. All doors which open to any public hall or required stair hall and the door assemblies shall be fireproof with the doors self-closing.

e. All doors opening from any room to any hall or passage within an apartment shall be self-closing and all transoms within an apartment shall be permanently closed.  All plain glass shall be removed from such doors and transoms and replaced with wire glass, wood or other non-shatterable material satisfactory to the department.

f. Directly over the opening to every required means of egress within an apartment, there shall be a sign of a type approved by the department marked “Fire Exit” and lighted in red at all times to indicate clearly the location of the means of egress, and on the walls of any hall or passage within the apartment leading to such means of egress there shall be maintained at all times arrows to indicate clearly the direction and location of the fire exit.

g. Every hall or passage within an apartment shall be unobstructed and well lighted at all times with a minimum of one foot-candle of light.

h. All wood wainscoting except a flat base not exceeding ten inches in height shall be removed from every hall or passage within an apartment.

5. In every such dwelling which is not fireproof every hall or passage within an apartment shall be equipped with a sprinkler system, which shall be extended so as to have at least one sprinkler head in every room.  The construction and arrangement of such sprinkler system shall comply with the requirements of the department.

6. There shall be provided in each such dwelling an adequate and reliable fire alarm system, approved by the fire commissioner by means of which alarms of fire or other danger may be instantly communicated to every portion of the dwelling.  Where, throughout the dwelling, a closed-circuit, automatic thermostatic fire-detecting system is installed which actuates an interior fire alarm system, or where, throughout the dwelling, an approved-type automatic sprinkler system is installed which actuates an interior fire alarm system by the flow of water through such sprinkler system, a watchman need not be provided as required in subdivision fifteen of this section.

7. There shall be a fire-retarded bulkhead in the roof connecting directly with the highest portion of any stairway to the roof, which bulkhead shall contain a fireproof door and assembly with the door self-closing.  The stairs leading to such bulkhead shall be fireproof or fire-retarded as required for public stairways in the other parts of such dwelling.

8. a. Every wash basin, bath, shower, sink and laundry tub shall be provided with an adequate supply of hot and cold water.

b. When the number of occupants of such a dwelling is eleven or more, there shall be provided for them in such dwelling at least one laundry tub and facilities for drying clothes.

9. Cooking shall be permitted only in kitchens and cooking spaces complying with the provisions of section thirty-three.  Any gas fixtures in such spaces shall be connected with permanent, rigid piping.  The use of any movable cooking apparatus in any sleeping room is unlawful.

10. a. There shall be a central heating system adequate to heat every sleeping room in a dwelling to the temperature requirements prescribed by subdivision one of section seventy-nine of this chapter.

b. The use of any movable heating apparatus in any sleeping room is unlawful.

c. Every boiler room shall be constructed in accordance with the provisions of section sixty-five and shall be adequately ventilated.

11. a. No room may be occupied for sleeping purposes unless it has a window or windows with an aggregate glazed area of at least ten per centum of the total floor area of such room.  Each such window shall be at least twelve feet in area and so constructed that at least half of its area may be opened.

b. Any room on a top story may be lighted and ventilated by a skylight of the same area as required for windows and arranged to provide an opening of at least six square feet for ventilation.

c. In every sleeping room, except a room on the top story so lighted and ventilated, there shall be at least one window meeting the requirements of section two hundred thirteen, except as otherwise specified in this subdivision, opening upon a street or upon a yard, court or shaft meeting the requirements of section two hundred twelve, but in no case shall such a court or shaft be less than twenty-eight inches in width.

d. Every room shall be adequately lighted by electricity.  The use of gas or any other type of open flame lighting is unlawful.

12. No room may be occupied for sleeping purposes by more than two adults considering children of twelve years or more as adults and two children between the ages of two and eleven years inclusive as the equivalent of one adult.  Children under two years of age need not be considered as occupants.

13. Every room rented for single room occupancy and all furniture and bedding therein shall be thoroughly cleansed before occupancy and every sleeping room at least once a week thereafter.  When bed linens are provided they shall be changed at least once every week.  When the rent includes the use of towels, at least one bath towel and two hand towels shall be provided every week for each occupant.  Such cleansing and service shall be the exclusive obligation of the person from whom the occupant rents such room.

14. Except as provided in subdivision thirteen, the owner shall maintain the dwelling in conformity with section eighty relating to cleanliness.

15. There shall be a competent manager living on the premises, who shall be responsible for the conduct, operation and maintenance of the dwelling, and, except as provided in subdivision six of this section, there shall also be on the premises at all times a competent watchman in charge of the dwelling.

17. In each such dwelling a register shall be kept, which shall show the name, signature, residence, date of arrival and date of departure of each occupant and the room occupied by him.

Cite this article: - New York Consolidated Laws, Multiple Dwelling Law - MDW § 248. Single room occupancy - last updated January 01, 2021 |

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