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How to complain about contractor in New York.

If you want to complain about your contractor, listed below are your major options. If you are not sure which option is best for you, read "Where is it best to complain".

1. New York contractor licensing:

State of New York does not license contractors at the state level.

In New York City, electricians, plumbers, etc. are licensed by the Department of Buildings (DOB). NYC general contractors must be rgistered with the DOB.
Home Improvement Contractors and Salespersons are licensed by the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA).

To find if a plumber, electrician, or other contractor is licensed in NYC use this online search. You can find if a Home Improvement contractor is licensed in New York City here.
To check disciplinary actions against NYC plumber go here. Against licensed NYC electrician here. Other NYC licensed contractors here.
You can also search DOB complaints here. You can find out if there are any outstanding complaints against plumbers and electricians by contacting the Buildings Special Investigations Unit (BSIU) in writing at 83 Maiden Lane, 4th Floor NY, NY 10038. For complaints about home improvement contractors, contact the Department of Consumer Affairs at 311. 
To complain about plumber, electrician, etc. contact:
Buildings Special Investigations Unit (BSIU):
83 Maiden Lane, 4th Floor NY, NY 10038
(212) 825-3330
Or use this online complaint service.
About Home improvement contractor complain to DCA online. Or download complaint form and send two copies of the complaint and supporting documents (copies) to: 
NYC Department of Consumer Affairs
 Consumer Services Division
 42 Broadway, 9th Floor
 New York, NY 10004
Or Fax to: (212) 487-4482
More information about DCA complaints and complaint forms.

Outside of New York City check with your county or city about contractor licensing requirements.

2. New York Attorney General.

File your home improvement contractor complaint with the Regional Offices of the New York State Attorney General. Download the complaint form for your region here. Print out the form, fill it out, sign, and mail or fax your original complaint (keep a copy for your records) with the copies of all supporting documents to your Regional Office of Attorney General. You can find the address of your Regional Office here or here.

You may find more information about filing a consumer complaint with the Bureau of Consumer Frauds and Protection of the New York State Attorney General and links to the complaint forms here.

3. Better Business Bureau:

Go to http://www.bbb.org/ and enter your zip code. When your local BBB page appear click on the "FILE A COMPLAINT" link and follow directions.

4. New York Small Claims: (For your information only - not a legal advice)

You can file your New York small claim suit in a county where you or your contractor lives, or works, or has a place of business.
To start your small claims lawsuit file a Statement of Claim with the Clerk of a city court, or a town or village Justice Court. The forms are available at the Clerk's Office. You can find links to location specific New York court forms here.
At the time of filing you will have to pay filing fee of $15.00 for claims up to $1,000 ($10 in Town and Village Justice Courts) or $20.00 for claims of more than $1,000 ($15 in Town and Village Justice Courts).

You can find locations of the New York courts here.

  1. Maximum monetary limit of claims: $5,000 (Civil Court of New York City, and other city courts), $3,000 (Town and Village Justice Courts);
  2. Attorney: not required, but allowed for both parties;
  3. Right to appeal: yes, for cases decided by a judge (within 30 days); no, for cases decided by an arbitrator.

More information about New York small claims courts you can find here. You can also download either a "Guide to Small Claims Court for City Courts Outside NYC; Town & Village Courts" or "A Guide to Small Claims Court for NYC; Nassau; Suffolk counties".

5. On-line complaints.

We collect all sorts of customer reviews, complaints, and comments here.
To post your comment on Google find your contractor in Google maps, and click the “more info” link next to the name of your contractor. On the following page, scroll down to “Reviews by Google users” and click on “Rate and review” link on the left.
There are many other websites that let you post comments and complaints about your contractor. Below you may find just a few examples:
1) http://www.ripoffreport.com (registration required),
2) http://www.complaintsboard.com/
3) www.complaints.com

Return to "the State's plumbing and contractor licensing departments".


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