Thank you for helping protect our community! Please follow these guidelines when filing a complaint:
Call: 311 or the Department of Buildings at (718) 802-3677
Write: Brooklyn Borough Commissioner's Office, 210 Joralemon Street, 8th Fl. Brooklyn, NY 11201.
Provide specific information.
Describe the violation (e.g. additional rooms, new residences, additional mail boxes). Where is the violation (e.g. new residence in garage of x home)
Make sure to use the word "demolition" vs. "construction"
If possible, give the best time for inspection.
Always note the person you speak with, and date & time of the call for your records.
- Avoid apartments priced lower than other apartments in the area.
- Apartments advertised as being "basement" or "attic" apartments often lack adequate exits.
- Stay away from apartments that have no windows, or very small windows. These will usually be basement apartments, and are often described as being "sunny."
- The word "flex" means that the apartment can be made into a multi-bedroom space with pressurized walls. It is illegal to build any wall without proper permits.
- A landlord may say "utilities included" to avoid having more names attached to the property, which would indicate that there are more people living there than is allowed.
- Apartments with "unique" or "interesting" layouts should be avoided.
- Be careful with landlords who won't reveal the exact address of the apartment-they may ask to meet a potential renter before giving out an address, in order to avoid fines.
- Landlords renting out illegal apartments might ask renters to get a post office box rather than having mail delivered to the house.
- Be wary of landlords who don't draw up a lease, or ask for payment in cash.
- Ensure that the apartment has a proper way to get in and out. Tenants should be able to leave the apartment directly or through a public hallway.
If you are living in an illegally converted home, learn your rights here.