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You can make a complaint about trash or recycling that is stored or put out incorrectly.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Alert

Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) health and safety concerns, Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) staff will wear masks if inspection is required/attempted. Tenants are also asked to wear masks during any inspection.

You can make a complaint about trash or recycling stored incorrectly inside an apartment building, including:

  • Trash or recycling accumulation or build-up
  • Not having enough cans or lids

Include in your report:

  • The exact street address of your rental apartment building and unit, if applicable.

The complaint categories that can be submitted will depend on the building and apartment type of the address you provide and whether or not you choose to provide your contact information.

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.

Report:

What Happens Next

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

Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) health and safety concerns, Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) staff will wear masks if inspection is required/attempted. Tenants are also asked to wear masks during any inspection.

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.

Inspections

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 violations: smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, lead-based paint (if there is a child under six), window guards (if there is a child under 11), double cylinder locks, and bars on the fire escape windows.

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 Centers 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.

You can make a complaint about trash or recycling:

  • Items placed curbside too early on the evening before pickup (before 4 PM)
  • Containers not removed from the curb after pickup (after 9 AM the next day)

The Department of Sanitation will respond in 3 to 7 business days.

Residential Storage

If you are a homeowner or residential building owner, you should follow these trash and recycling rules to avoid getting a violation:

  • Store containers inside or behind the building.
  • Keep containers closed and the area around them clean.
  • Owners of buildings with three or more units must provide a storage area. If there is no space inside, the storage area can be outside and behind the property line.
  • Put containers out the night before pickup between 4 PM and midnight.
  • Remove containers after pickup:
    • If pickup is before 4 PM, you must remove containers by 9 PM. 
    • If pickup is after 4 PM, you must remove containers before 9 AM the next morning.

Commercial Storage

Business owners should follow these trash and recycling rules to avoid getting a violation:

  • Store containers and dumpsters inside or behind your business.
  • Keep containers closed and the area around them clean.
  • If you have night pickup, put items out one hour before closing and remove them within one hour after opening.
  • If you have day pickup, put items out two hours before pickup.
  • Remove containers and dumpsters from the street or sidewalk after pickup.
  • Do not leave trash out on a holiday or a weekend.