You can make a complaint about an electrical problem inside an apartment, including:
- Lighting that dims or flickers
- Lighting fixtures that are missing, hanging, loose, sparking, wet, flooded, or smoking
- No lighting
- Outlets or switches that are sealed or defective
- Power outage
- Wiring that is exposed, frayed, or illegally installed, or fuses that blow out
Before filing a complaint, you should try to resolve the issue with your landlord, managing agent, or superintendent. If you live in a co-op or condo, you should first report apartment maintenance issues to the owner, management company or board before filing a complaint with HPD, as the specific agreements between the coop or condo owner and the board may dictate which conditions are required to be addressed by the board or the unit owner.
What You Need
When reporting an electrical problem in an apartment, you must provide your contact information.
What Happens Next
The Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) investigates maintenance complaints and tickets owners who break the law.
HPD will attempt to contact your building's managing agent to advise them that a complaint has been filed and that a violation may be issued if the condition is not corrected immediately. HPD will also attempt to call you back to see if the condition was corrected. If you indicate that the condition was corrected, HPD will close the complaint.
Learn more about HPD complaints and inspections.
Learn more about housing quality and safety issues on the HPD website.
Use HPD Online to check the status of a Service Request and to find complaint and violation history.
If it was not corrected or HPD cannot reach you, a uniformed Code Enforcement inspector will be sent to inspect the reported condition. If English is not your primary language, let the Inspector know and they can call a translator to help.
The owner/agent is not notified of the inspection date. Inspectors will also check for the following:
- Non-working smoke detectors
- Non-working carbon monoxide detectors
- Lead-based paint (if there is a child under six)
- Window guards (if there is a child under 11),
- Door locks that require a key to exit
- Self-closing dwelling unit entrance doors
- Mice, cockroaches, and rats
- Bars or gates on fire escape windows
If you made a complaint and your property owner didn't fix the problem, you can take legal action in Housing Court. Document all contact with your landlord and HPD about the conditions in your apartment so you can use it in court.
To learn more about Housing Court, go to the Housing Court for Tenants and Landlords page.
Rent Regulated Apartments
There is additional support available for tenants in rent-controlled or rent-stabilized apartments. To learn more, go to the Rent Regulated Apartments page.
For more information about residential property maintenance requirements and tenant rights and responsibilities, use the Housing Rules for Owners and Tenants page.
Copies of maintenance complaints are available for both Tenants and Landlords. For additional questions about a complaint or to get copies of complaints, go to the HPD Building Information and Code Enforcement Borough Service Centers page.