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
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
Unanimous Consent to Prohibit Unsolicited
Advertising by All Occupants of Multiple Dwelling.
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
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
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
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
c/o Unsolicited Advertisement Enforcement
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.
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)
Dwelling Property Owner Complaint Form for Unauthorized Distribution of
Unsolicited Advertisement PDF (114KB)