Is My Landlord Responsible for Providing Air Conditioning Brackets?

Originally posted on March 24, 2023 3:00 pm
Updated on March 14, 2023 2:47 pm

New York City can get hot, sometimes excruciatingly so, during the warm summer months. New Yorkers looking to escape the heat often rely on window air conditioning units to keep temperatures moderately cool in their apartments. However, window air conditioners can fall from windows and cause serious injury to parties underneath. Therefore, New York City requires all window air conditioning units to use AC brackets to keep their devices secure and safe during the summer. 

What Are Window Brackets?

Window brackets are brackets, frames, or bars that support the weight and size of a window-mounted air conditioning unit. Window brackets help eliminate the risk of the unit falling out the window and injuring a pedestrian. According to NYC 311, window air conditioner brackets must securely fasten to the building’s exterior and adequately support the air conditioner’s weight. 

How to Purchase Window Brackets 

Consumers can purchase window brackets from most major retailers for under $100. Online and physical retailers sell window brackets for different sizes and weights, so renters can select the bracket that works best for their unit. 

Who is Responsible for Installing and Paying for Window Brackets?

Unless their lease states otherwise, renters in New York City bear the responsibility of purchasing and installing their own window air conditioners and brackets. Landlords do not have any obligation to help their tenants install air conditioner units and brackets. Tenants in buildings that are taller than six stories must use air conditioner brackets. 

However, tenants can ask their landlord or management company if they have any air conditioning brackets. While the landlord may not provide them for free, they may sell them at a discounted price or recommend a vendor. 

Check Your Lease

Renters should thoroughly read through their lease during the application process to ensure they understand their requirements for window air conditioning units. Their lease likely does not disclose any landlord’s responsibility for air conditioning brackets, but some landlords could have their own verbiage about air conditioning rules. Always check your lease to make sure you follow guidelines. 

How Much Does it Cost to Install Window Brackets?

If a renter does not consider themselves particularly handy, they may want to hire someone to help install their air conditioner and brackets. Hiring a professional typically costs a couple of hundred dollars, depending on the contractor’s rate. If you live in a larger building, you may have a porter or super who you can ask to help install the brackets. Remember to tip any service person who helps you with this task! 

Can I Install Window Brackets Myself?

Most tenants can successfully install the air conditioner and the brackets independently. You will need a drill and a few screws to install the unit properly. In many cases, previous tenants may have already drilled holes that make the installation process simpler. 

The entire process of installing air conditioning brackets should only take about fifteen minutes or so. However, you’ll want to be sure that you do so carefully and follow any instructions that might have come with the brackets. Make sure to exercise caution during installation, as you may jeopardize part of your security deposit if you damage the apartment. 


New York City tenants are responsible for properly installing their air conditioning units using brackets. Brackets ensure that the AC unit remains safe from falling out of the window to prevent injury to people below. Renters can consult with their landlord or management company to ask if they have access to brackets or know of a cheaper supplier, but landlords do not have an obligation to provide or install the brackets. If you don’t want to deal with your own self installation, consider renting an apartment that comes with central air and heating OR has air conditioning units pre-installed.

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