Howto:Research building violations

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New York City’s building stock is the backbone of our urban infrastructure and is necessary, just like the expansive network of bridges, roads, railways, utilities and water tunnels, for our City to function. If we are not vigilant about maintaining this vital asset, it will deteriorate. Citizens can view building violations and building complaints at the Department of Buildings Building Information Search website:


There are several ways to pull up the violation and complaint records.

  1. First, go to the following link:
  2. You should select the appropriate borough from the drop down menu.
  3. Next, add the house number and street name. For example, if you are looking for the building and complaint records for the Harlem State Office Building at 163 W. 125th Street, you should select Manhattan from the drop down menu, enter 163 as the house number, and enter WEST 125 STREET as the street.
  4. After entering the appropriate information, you will be brought to the building’s “Property Profile Overview”.
  5. The Property Profile Overview contains a wealth of information about any given building. In order to find complaints and violations you should scroll down ¾ of the way down the page. On the left hand side you will see blue links for the following categories:
  • “Complaints” – This is the section of property profile overview that details any complaints about a particular building that the city has received. Detailed descriptions of each complaint can be accessed by clicking on the complaint number.
  • “Violations – DOB” – DOB violations are often issued for procedural matters and do not always involve a physical inspection by DOB personnel. The Department of Buildings does not include detailed descriptions of DOB violations, including violations that may still be open. It is unclear if this shortcoming in the City’s record keeping system will be remediated in the future.
  • “Violations – ECB” - ECB violations can be issued only as the result of a physical inspection. ECB violations, which tend to be more severe, involve a civil penalty and are adjudicated by the New York City Environmental Control Board.
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