Rental and cooperative building owners must keep your apartment unit and building in livable condition and provide needed repairs. If they don’t, you can report a maintenance problem affecting an apartment, a public area, or an entire building.

To report a problem in an apartment, you must provide your contact information. Other complaints may be anonymous.

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.

Common apartment maintenance complaints include:

  • Unsanitary conditions, such as mold, sewage, or pests, including mice, bed bugs, or roaches
  • Water leaks, holes, cracks, or peeling paint on walls or ceilings
  • Doors and locks that are broken or missing
  • Windows that are broken or stuck open or closed
  • No heat or hot water
  • Electrical problems, such as no lighting, defective outlets or switches, exposed or illegal wiring, or wet light fixtures
  • Cooking gas that has been shut off
  • Doorbells, buzzers, or intercoms that are broken or missing
  • Floors that are damaged
  • Sinks, bathtubs, showers, toilets, or other plumbing fixtures that are broken or defective
  • Safety issues, such as broken or blocked fire escapes, or broken or missing smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, or window guards

Common maintenance complaints in a public area of a residential building include:

  • Unsanitary conditions, such as mold, sewage, or pests, including mice, bed bugs, or roaches
  • Water leaks, holes, cracks, or peeling paint on walls or ceilings
  • Doors and locks that are broken or missing
  • Windows that are broken or stuck open or closed
  • Elevators that are dirty or have broken mirror or lights
  • Electrical problems, such as no lighting, defective outlets or switches, exposed or illegal wiring, or wet light fixtures
  • Cooking gas that has been shut off
  • Doorbells, buzzers, or intercoms that are broken or missing
  • Floors or stairs that are damaged
  • Sinks, bathtubs, showers, toilets, or other plumbing fixtures that are broken or defective
  • Safety issues, such as broken or blocked fire escapes, or broken or missing sprinkler system, or window guards

Common residential building-wide maintenance complaints include:

  • ​Unsanitary conditions, such as garbage and recycling storage
  • Cooking gas that has been shut off
  • No heat or hot water
  • No water
  • Power outage
  • Safety issues, such as broken fire escapes or sprinkler system

What Happens Next

The Department of Housing, Preservation and Development (HPD) investigates maintenance complaints and tickets owners who break the law.

Learn more about HPD complaints and inspections.

Additional Assistance

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 Center page.

Housing Court

If you made a complaint and your landlord 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.

The Housing Maintenance Code does not require buildings to have air conditioning. The City does not issue violations for this condition.

Tenants in rent-controlled or rent-stablized apartments can get information and assistance with a landlord provided air conditioner that no longer works. To learn more, go to the Rent Regulated Apartments page.

Rental and cooperative building owners are required by law to provide and properly install at least one approved carbon monoxide alarm within 15 feet of the primary entrance to each sleeping room. This applies to all one- and two-family homes and residential buildings with three or more units.

Carbon monoxide detectors are required to be replaced as their useful life expires. After this replacement, landlords are required to replace carbon monoxide detectors as their useful life expires according to the manufacturer's instructions, based on the original date of installation. The replacement device must be a model that has an end-of-life alarm.

While owners are required to install carbon monoxide detectors, tenants are responsible for maintaining them and changing the batteries. Tenants must pay the owner $25 when the owner installs a new carbon monoxide detector, replaces a carbon monoxide detector that has reached the end of its useful life, or replaces one that the tenant lost or damaged. Tenants have up to one year to make the payment.

Local Law 62 (1981) requires rental and cooperative building owners to install one or more smoke detectors in each unit. It is the tenant's responsibility to maintain them. The City investigates housing complaints and gives tickets to owners who break the law.

Smoke detectors should be placed between sleeping areas and the rest of the unit. If there is more than 15 feet between sleeping areas, a smoke detector should be provided for each sleeping area. If there are multiple levels in the unit, smoke detectors should be provided for each level. If mounted on the ceiling, the edge of the smoke detector should be no more than 4 inches from the wall. If mounted on the wall, the edge of the smoke detector should be between 4 and 12 inches from the ceiling.