How to Check an Apartment’s History for Landlord Complaints

When searching for the right rental apartment in New York City, not only is it important to find the right apartment, but it's also important to find the right landlord as well. As anyone who’s lived in New York City can tell you, the quality of your landlord or management company can completely alter your rental experience.

For this reason, it's vital that you do your research before signing your lease. Thankfully, there are easy ways to access information such as historical violations on the building, and verify that you’re renting from a reputable landlord. Here are some of the best steps you can take when researching your landlord or management company:

1. Look For Building Complaints On Review Websites

Tenants often leave reviews on apartment buildings on websites including Google, Yelp, and various other apartment-specific websites like openigloo, rentcity, and apartmentratings.

While the reviews you find on sites like these aren’t a substitute for doing your own due diligence, they’re a good place to start.

2. Research Any Complaints Made With The Department Of Buildings

Finding your building on the NYC Department of Buildings information system is easy. Simply select your borough, enter the building number, enter the street, and press go. The results will show a list of complaints filed with the Department of Buildings as well as any violations. It will also state if the complaint has been resolved.

When researching a building’s violations, it's important to remember that most buildings will have some form of a violation every now and then. Therefore, when looking at violations, be sure to check what type or violation it's and how frequently the building is receiving violations. This will help determine whether or not the landlord or management company is actively doing something incorrect.

3. Look Into The Department Of Housing Preservation And Development

Complaints on buildings in New York City can also be found through the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Any violation or complaint made will be documented and placed in public records that can be found on their website. The difference between this resource and the Department of Buildings is that this will only show complaints made in the last year.

4. Check Out Other Landlord Complaint Resources

The City Public Advocate has a list of the worst landlords in the city. You can search for your building or landlord on their website to ensure they are not on it. Additionally, the New York State’s Division of Housing and Community Renewal allows you to search for complaints regarding rent stabilized rents as well as the apartment’s regulation history. 

Finally, you can contact the management company directly in order to inquire about any concerning issues such as pests and noise. However, this can be misleading as there is no telling how much the management company will agree to disclose.

Outerbridge Law Is Here To Protect Tenants

Even when you’ve done your research, you might find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having serious problems with your landlord. If you’re being harassed, illegally evicted, or having essential repairs go neglected, your landlord may be breaking the law. 

This can be incredibly stressful; when your home feels hostile due to your landlord’s actions, it wears on every aspect of your life. Fortunately, you have rights, and Outerbridge Law is here to fight for them. Don’t put up with a bad landlord; contact Outerbridge Law today to learn if you have a case.