Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation

Community Information

Beyond 311: How to Direct Complaints to NYC, State or Federal Agencies

Landlord-Tenant Disputes: Heat and Hot Water, Eviction, Foreclosure

Landlord-tenant disputes are a fact that a large percentage of New York City residents must confront at one time or another if they live in this city. It is, for many, a frustrating experience. If more New York City residents knew exactly how and where to go with their specific complaint, they might not find the experience as challenging as most do. For example, landlord-tenant issues in New York may involve rent stabilized or rent controlled apartments or a residence not subject to any form of rent regulation.

One source of useful information about events affecting all city tenants is Landlord-tenant issues affecting rent stabilized or rent controlled apartments in New York City come under the jurisdiction of The New York State Homes and Community Renewal Agency. And you can contact that Agency with complaints at 718-739-6400.

If you are of limited means or are indigent and qualify for the "Section 8" housing program administered by New York City Housing Authority you can contact the City Housing Authority at 212-306-3000 about your landlord or the condition of your apartment. Finally, if you have a complaint about heat and hot water (or the lack thereof) file a complaint anonymously and without giving your apartment number to the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development ("HPD") and ask for the "complaint number" in case you need to follow up on it. And if a complaint has been filed — or an inspection performed — and there is no action by the New York City HPD, then follow up by contacting the New York State Homes and Community Renewal Agency at 212-863-8307.

Library of Congress via Wikimedia CommonsLibrary of Congress via Wikimedia CommonsIf you get in a legal dispute with your landlord or face eviction you should review this post on free or low cost legal services in New York City. And if you live in "Mitchell-Lama" housing in the City there is a complaint Line at 1-866-463-7753.

If you are in danger of foreclosure because of default on mortgage payments you may qualify for free legal advice or a re-negotiation of the loan at the Subprime Foreclosure Prevention Hotline: 1-866-760-3745 and 1-888-736-8457 (in Spanish).

Complaints with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTA)

One can file a general complaint[Subway Riders, New York City, 1914.], Digital ID 809888, New York Public Library with the MTA at: 718-330-1234 Option 4. However, it is more effective to complain about a specific issue involving a bus, subway, transit delay, crime or an ADA compliance issue or contact the MTA's Lost and Found.

However, another remedy is to use resources compiled by the Straphanger's Campaign: a targeted list of MTA staff and other agencies that take complaints and tips on how to make the complaint more effective — and exactly who to address them to including the MTA's President, your subway line's General Manager and how to identify and contact your city councilman.

Consumer Fraud and "Rip Offs"

If you believe that you have been the victim of consumer fraud or have paid money for services either not rendered or performed incompetently there is a remedy. You may file a Complaint with the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs ("D.C.A.") or call (212) 487-4140. If you have been the victim of consumer fraud, it may also be a good idea to report the fraud to the New York State Attorney General's Office of Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau (that also deals with credit card fraud; identity theft; investment or securities fraud and online business or charitable fraud) or call 1-800-771-7755.

As to the growing problem of identity theft, consumers should immediately notify all banks or other issuers of any credit or debit cards of loss, misuse or theft. Next, it is a good idea to request that a "Fraud Alert" be placed on credit applications in your name for varying periods of time to the three primary credit rating agencies: Experian; TransUnion and Equifax. Also report fraud to the New York Police Department — they may or may not find the culprit, but you will definitely want to obtain a written police report in order to make any insurance or other claims on your losses. Finally, don't forget to contact issuers of basic identification materials lost or stolen: New York State Driver's license; Social Security Card; New York Public Library Card and any other relevant agencies.

Discrimination based on Race, Gender, Sexual Orientation

Drinking fountain on the county courthouse lawn, Halifax, North Carolina.,[African American boy standing at a segregated drinking fountain next to a sign reading, , Digital ID 1260105, New York Public LibraryThis includes employment discrimination, housing discrimination or discrimination by a business, restaurant, bar, retail store or governmental or non-profit entity or by their employees. If you encounter discrimination based on race, religion, gender, ethnicity, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status you may file a complaint with the New York City Human Rights Commision or telephone: 212-306-7450.

You may file a complaint with The New York State Division of Human Rights at (212) 961-8650 or a complaint with the New York State Attorney General at (800) 771-7755 or use the Complaint Referral Service of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at 1-800-669-4000.


Patron-generated content represents the views and interpretations of the patron, not necessarily those of The New York Public Library. For more information see NYPL's Website Terms and Conditions.

I have used the 311 website

I have used the 311 website to contact the station manager at my subway stop twice, once to complain about a light on the stairs being out (during winter when things were dangerously icy!) and another time when there was something gross I won't describe, also in a high traffic area. Within the day both were resolved and I really don't know if it was coincidence or not but it's nice to feel like it was worth it to take some action! I also recommend using the FTC for scammy telemarketers ("Your car warranty is expired!" But I don't have a car?!) because it can help them to "detect patterns of wrong-doing."

Dracula Old Landlord getting away wat the hell Murder since 1930

Delapitated apartment building with Old Granny Dracula Landlord. Getting away with murder since. 1930's till today. Ridgewood Bushwick women take illegal and otherwise unfortant people for granted charging high rent and makin no improvements or necessary updates to building. Located at 166 Wyckoff Avenue. Nome riots complaints of all kinds have been made and nothing has been done. Is she paying someone under the table? Or a favor maybe cause character and actions to cheap. Violations abundant and nothing matters to whom it may concern... This building had a mysterious fire in late August and still the windows have not been replace. Public Note This.

Numerous delays in J & Z service

Okay New Yorkers, we who ride the J & Z lines have had it with these LONG DELAYS; OVERCROWDED trains. Especially on the commute going home. WHAT IS IT WITH THE MTA...HAVE'NT THEY LEARN THEIR LESSON YET? 1. Long delays during the evening commute (especially @ ESSEX ST.). What's that all about? THE LAST STOP IS BROAD STREET. ONLY A FEW STOPS FROM ESSEX ST.. WHY THE LONG DELAYS? WHY THE OVERCROWDED TRAINS? WHY NOT PUT ENOUGH TRAINS IN SERVICE TO COVER THIS PROBLEM? My home station is Van Siclan. in the morning rush hours, it's a "skip stop station". J skips - Z stops. SO WHY ON FRIDAY THE 6TH OF FEBRUARY WOULD A "Z" TRAIN SKIP THAT STATION. MTA NEEDS TO GET THEIR ACT TOGETHER - THEY ARE ALWAYS CRYING "WE NEED MORE $$$$". WELL WHAT ABOUT THE COMMUTERS - WE NEED BETTER SERVICE. THIS IS 2015 - WHEN WILL THE MTA GET THEIR ACT TOGETHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

311 is not like it used to be: it's worse!

I called 311 about a snow-covered sidewalk, of my neighbor. It was a waste of time, with one 311 operator saying she would switch me to lodge a complaint, then the one I was switched to telling me that 311 could do nothing for me. "Call the Sanitation Dept. We can't take this kind of complaint." I even tried to complain ABOUT 311, but their site must think that everyone is 100% satisfied with it, for there is no way to do so.

The City are a bunch of

The City are a bunch of Hypocrites. NYCHA is some of the worst run housing in the country, yet you have the nerve to constantly get on the backs of private landords who provide much much much better conditions overall for their tenants. I guess the City just likes to deflect attention.

Restrooms throughout NYC

Any business that customers are there for business for longer than 15 minutes should have fully stocked restrooms, running water, tolit paper, paper towels or dryer for hands. Even if this would mean pay tolits ($0.25 to cover expenses). This would definitely help in the reduction of the spread of germs. Clean restrooms should be mandated as well!


I'm just convinced 311 is not equipped to handle serious matters. For instance I am so badly harassed by the super and neighbors in my building that we literally live in the dark most of the day. Every day is a very scary situation for my daughter and I. We have literally pleaded with 311 for help. They stopped responding to us altogether.

Keep submitting detailed

Keep submitting detailed complaints.. Call or online. Day and night. Ask to be transferred to whatever agency deals w landlord/tenant harassment claims (may be the district attorney). Meanwhile, I'd get in touch with legal aid (or whoever) cuz this seems like a matter for housing court.

pocket park at 88th st & 3rd ave owned by monarch @ 200 e 89th

The pocket park is in deplorable condition with dead trees, bushes and plants in holders. Monarch managing agent claims they get stolen all the time. If this is the case then install security cameras. It is a shame that the Monarch does not uphold their part in the building bonus that was given to them. This could be another lovely addition to the neighborhood and could be enjoyed by all.

Post new comment