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.


When filing a complaint through phone or writing, make a checkbox:
  • 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.

Safety TIPS:

  • 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.