Need something else?

You can report damaged or broken sidewalks next to residential, commercial, and City-owned property, under overpasses, and on traffic medians or islands.

Property owners are responsible for installing, maintaining and repairing the sidewalks abutting their residential properties. Complaints about a damaged sidewalk adjacent to a residential building with four or more units are accepted. An exact street address for the sidewalk defect is required.  

The Department of Transportation will inspect the sidewalk complaint. If warranted, a Notice of Violation will be sent to the property owner.

Property owners are responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing the sidewalks abutting their residential properties. You can make a complaint about damaged sidewalks adjacent to properties that are residential-use only, such as a house or apartment building with three or fewer units.

An exact street address for the sidewalk defect is required.

The Department of Transportation will inspect the sidewalk complaint. If warranted, a Notice of Violation will be sent to the property owner.

The City is responsible for installing, maintaining and repairing the sidewalks abutting its properties.

Complaints about a damaged sidewalk adjacent to the following are accepted:

  • Public housing
  • Public hospitals
  • Public parks
  • Public schools
  • Public shelters
  • Libraries
  • City agency office buildings
  • Any other City-Owned property

An exact street address for the sidewalk defect is required.

The Department of Transportation will verify that it is City-Owned property and will inspect the sidewalk. If installation, maintenance or repairs are required, the responsible Agency will be notified.

Commercial property owners are responsible for installing, maintaining and repairing the sidewalks abutting their properties. Complaints about a damaged sidewalk adjacent to a commercial building or vacant lot are accepted.

Residential buildings with at least one store front or office space within are also considered commercial properties. An exact street address for the sidewalk defect is required.  

The Department of Transportation will inspect the sidewalk complaint. If warranted, a Notice of Violation will be sent to the property owner.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) maintains many of the overpasses and traffic medians for City roadways and highways. Complaints about a damaged sidewalk under an overpass or on a traffic median or island are accepted.

DOT will verify that it is City-owned property and will inspect the sidewalk. If installation, maintenance or repairs are required, the responsible Agency or entity will be notified.

Property owners are legally responsible for building or repairing the sidewalks next to their properties and keeping them in reasonably safe condition. Regardless of what or who caused the damage, the property owner will be liable for any violations and fines for the damaged sidewalks.

If your sidewalks are damaged and you want to fix them, you can get the City's Sidewalk Guide for Property Owners and find answers to the most frequently asked questions about sidewalk violations, permits, and repairs.

If you think that someone else is responsible for the damage, you may take the following steps:

  • Document the damage and source of the damage.
  • Obtain a sidewalk permit to make repairs.
  • Repair and restore the broken sidewalk flags to avoid violations.
  • Retain receipts documenting the cost of the repair and restoration.
  • Seek repayment of the costs from the responsible party.
  • If the damage was done by a City worker or contractor working for the City, file a claim against the City with the Comptroller of the City of New York.

Learn about sidewalk repair.

Call 311 or 212-NEW-YORK (212-639-9675) to request a paper copy.

Sidewalk Defects

Violations may be received for the following sidewalk defects:

  • Uneven flags where vertical difference between two flags is more than 1/2 inch
  • Loose flags that move up and down
  • Undermined flags below which there is a visible void
  • Cracked flags that can be readily removed
  • Hardware that isn't flush within 1/2 inch of the sidewalk surface
  • Improper slope preventing flags from draining towards the curb
  • Missing flags or a sidewalk that was never built

The Department of Transportation may oversee repairs and bill property owners who have failed to make the required repairs after receiving a Notice of Violation.

Tree Root Damage

If tree roots have damaged sidewalks or curbs and made them unsafe for pedestrians, the property owner may work with the Parks Department to resolve the root problem.

If the Department of Transportation receives a complaint about the sidewalk and finds violations, it will send a Notice of Violation to the property owner.

Vacant Lots or Unknown Buildings

When a sidewalk defect is in front of a vacant lot or an unknown building, property ownership will be determined and then a Notice of Violation will be issued.

The owner will be provided time to remedy the defect.

Request City Repair

The City does not accept requests to repair your sidewalk. Under Section 2904 of New York City Charter and Section 19-152 of the New York City Administrative Code, the property owner is responsible for maintaining, repairing and installing sidewalks adjoining their properties.

Licensed Contractors

Any contractor performing sidewalk repair costing more than $200 must be licensed by the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) to operate legally in New York City. Customers can use DCA's Instant License Check website, to determine if a sidewalk contractor is licensed.

The Instant License Check also may be used to find a list of licensed home improvement contractors working within each borough.

Use Instant License Check.

Sidewalk violations may occasionally be issued in error to a property owner because the Department of Transportation uses Department of Finance records to determine property ownership, and this information may be outdated.

Ownership records may be updated by sending a written request to:

The Department of Finance
Correspondence Unit
66 John Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10038

  Was this information helpful?   Yes    No