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Second Floor Apt; Fire Code Requirement

aptdweller2020

Registered User
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
2
Location
New Jersey
Hello, I was looking to maybe purchase a multi unit home in New Jersey. It appears to be a legal two family home. Both units only have one means of egress; except the 1st floor you I suppose you could get out through the basement. The second floor only has one doorway with steps that lead up to the apartment. That is the only means of egress in the apartment and there are no fire escapes, balconies or steps of any sort. In the event of a fire blocking the one doorway me or a potential tenant would be at the mercy of jumping out a window. Is this legal? The home is old and appears to have been built in 1890 (I am unsure if it was always a 2 family or was converted; still waiting on bldg files from town hall). I'm told that the lack of second egress and fire escape might be legal because of when it was built. If that is accurate, is there anything that would trigger a required update? Thanks.
 

cda

Sawhorse 123
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Messages
19,006
Location
Basement
Hello, I was looking to maybe purchase a multi unit home in New Jersey. It appears to be a legal two family home. Both units only have one means of egress; except the 1st floor you I suppose you could get out through the basement. The second floor only has one doorway with steps that lead up to the apartment. That is the only means of egress in the apartment and there are no fire escapes, balconies or steps of any sort. In the event of a fire blocking the one doorway me or a potential tenant would be at the mercy of jumping out a window. Is this legal? The home is old and appears to have been built in 1890 (I am unsure if it was always a 2 family or was converted; still waiting on bldg files from town hall). I'm told that the lack of second egress and fire escape might be legal because of when it was built. If that is accurate, is there anything that would trigger a required update? Thanks.


1. Do you want to maintain it as a two family place, as in rent out one section?

2. Normally, on a regular today house, even two story, you are only required one exit, normally the front door.

3. EACH bedroom is required to have one operable window, of certain dimensions, or a door directly to the outside.

4. "The second floor only has one doorway with steps that lead up to the apartment.""" So the tenant on the 2nd floor exits thru the first floor tenants living area??? Or what?

5. Does the 1st floor tenant have their own separate ground level exit??

6. Does the basement have a sleeping area??
 

aptdweller2020

Registered User
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
2
Location
New Jersey
1. Do you want to maintain it as a two family place, as in rent out one section?

2. Normally, on a regular today house, even two story, you are only required one exit, normally the front door.

3. EACH bedroom is required to have one operable window, of certain dimensions, or a door directly to the outside.

4. "The second floor only has one doorway with steps that lead up to the apartment.""" So the tenant on the 2nd floor exits thru the first floor tenants living area??? Or what?

5. Does the 1st floor tenant have their own separate ground level exit??

6. Does the basement have a sleeping area??
Thanks for the response. To answer your questions:
1. Maintain it as a two family. Live in one, rent the other. Or possibly just rent both.
2. Interesting, I was not aware.
3. The all do so that appears to be o.k.
4. It's a private front door entrance. For the second floor, open door, and you're at the bottom of the apt in a small foyer with steps leading upstairs. There's no access to lower unit from there. The 1st floor tenant has a private side entrance that goes directly to their apartment.
5. Yes, side door.
6. No, just storage and some laundry
 

cda

Sawhorse 123
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Messages
19,006
Location
Basement
Thanks for the response. To answer your questions:
1. Maintain it as a two family. Live in one, rent the other. Or possibly just rent both.
2. Interesting, I was not aware.
3. The all do so that appears to be o.k.
4. It's a private front door entrance. For the second floor, open door, and you're at the bottom of the apt in a small foyer with steps leading upstairs. There's no access to lower unit from there. The 1st floor tenant has a private side entrance that goes directly to their apartment.
5. Yes, side door.
6. No, just storage and some laundry



It sounds like you are in good shape.

I would wait for others to answer.

Does the city this house is in have any laws/ codes for just being able to rent a house out??? Might want to check. Some places require an annual permit, some require some strange code requirements.
 
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