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What can I do if the management of my building allowed a tenant back in the residence even though they knew he had COVID-19, and now I tested positive for COVID-19?

Asked by user in New York.

Answered by Enjuris Editors:

In New York, landlords can be held liable for dangerous conditions. To establish liability in this specific case, you would need to prove that:

  • You contracted COVID-19 from the tenant while in a common area (not in your apartment or the tenant’s apartment), and
  • The landlord knew that the tenant had COVID-19.

The biggest challenge you’re likely to face is proving that you contracted COVID-19 from the tenant. This will be challenging because your landlord can argue that you contracted COVID-19 from a visitor, or a tenant who the landlord didn’t know had COVID-19, or from some other person while you were outside the apartment. Generally speaking, it’s very difficult to prove exactly how you contracted COVID-19.

In the meantime, the Office of Civil Justice offers free legal help for residents in New York who are having problems with their landlords. You can find more information here.

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