Department of Sanitation - New York City
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Department of Sanitation - New York City Department of Sanitation - New York City


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Lawn Litter Violation Forms

Section 397-A of the New York State General Business Law, a.k.a the "Lawn Litter" Law, which allows property owners to post a sign in a visible area in front of their homes to let advertisers know not to place unsolicited advertising material on their property. 

The property owner's sign must be at least five inches tall and seven inches wide, and state in legible letters at least one inch in size, "Do Not Place Unsolicited Advertising Materials On This Property" (Sample Sign).

In multiple dwellings, signs can be put up indicating how many units want to receive unsolicited ads, and the location they must be placed.  Signs are to be placed in visible areas such as on lawns or on front doors.

Unanimous Consent to Prohibit Unsolicited Advertising by All Occupants of Multiple Dwelling.
In multiple dwellings, a property owner may post a sign prohibiting the placement of unsolicited advertising materials only if every owner or tenant of each separate household unit in the multiple dwelling agrees to prohibit advertising materials within the building or upon the premises of the building. Such a sign must be posted in a conspicuous location. Where a sign is posted that does not meet the requirements of the State law, the law’s limitation on unsolicited advertising cannot be enforced by the Department of Sanitation. Therefore, it is recommended that every multiple-unit building owner, or its agent including the building superintendent or management company compile and maintain a record or list identifying every household unit in the building, and the signature of any occupant who has consented to prohibiting advertising materials at the building and upon its premises.

Consent to Limit Unsolicited Advertising By Some, But Not All Occupants of Multiple Dwelling.
If some, but not all, household units in the building consent to prohibiting unsolicited advertising materials, the property owner may post a sign that specifies the number of materials that may be delivered, which should reflect the number of units that have not consented to the prohibition. The sign should also designate a location for leaving the materials which is reasonably accessible to the building’s residents and to the distributors of materials. When such a sign has been posted, a person or business may only leave an amount of solicitations that is equal to the number of unit owners or tenants stated on the sign.

Dwellings That Do Not Post Any Sign.
Where a multiple dwelling does not post a sign, the State law does not authorize the Department of Sanitation to take enforcement action with respect to the placement of unsolicited advertisements.

If property owners receive unwanted advertisements, they can fill out a citizen complaint form against the unsolicited advertisements placed on their property, enclose those advertisements with their complaint form, and mail the package to:

Director of Enforcement
NYC Department of Sanitation
c/o Unsolicited Advertisement Enforcement
1824 Shore Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11214

Advertisers found to be in violation of the "Lawn Litter" Law will be subject to a $250 fine.

Property owners can obtain complaint forms by scrolling down to the Forms area below.

Individuals who send in the complaint form may be called before the Environmental Control Board to testify about the ads.


 Citizen Complaint Process for Lawn Litter Violations Overview PDF (114KB)


 One, Two or Three Property Owner Complaint Form for Unauthorized Distribution of Unsolicited Advertisement PDF (115KB)

 Multiple Dwelling Property Owner Complaint Form for Unauthorized Distribution of Unsolicited Advertisement PDF (114KB)