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Re: Smoke detectors and jury trial rights

Posted by consigliere on December 27, 2001 at 07:56:21:

In Reply to: Smoke detectors and jury trial rights posted by DAmadeus on December 26, 2001 at 19:08:51:

Jury waiver clauses are standard in residential leases, including leases for rent stabilized apartments in New York City. By law, the jury waiver clause does not apply to claims for personal injury and property damage.

A landlord is allowed to make a one-time charge of $10 to furnish and install a smoke detector. After that, it is the tenant's responsibility to maintain the smoke detector, which would include replacing batteries.

The landlord has no right to charge you anything for the smoke detector. If the battery is dead, the landlord has to replace it, and he can take the cost of the battery from the prior tenant's security deposit, if he wants.

: OK. Here's a good one for you all. I just signed a lease for a stabilized apartment. There were two clauses in the lease that sent up big red flags for me. 1). By signing my lease, I give up the right to a jury trial in the event of a landlord-tenant dispute; 2). I have to give the landlord 10 bucks for an already-installed smoke detector to "cover the cost of putting a new battery in." I told the landlord that I would be happy to replace the battery in the smoke detector and they told me that I would still have to pay the 10 bucks unless the super wrote a note saying that the battery is still good. Now, the question: Can they do this? I believe that one cannot sign away the right to a jury trial no matter what. Also, isn't the landlord responsible for the cost of the smoke detector? Thank you.

: d

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