Always make the complaint immediately. Don't wait until license renewal. Unless there is already an investigation in progress within documented findings of a very serious nature, the license will be renewed.
It is legally easier for the SLA to have a license revoked or canceled for serious adverse findings against a license than to deny a renewal because of violations.
Different types of complaints require different means of resolving. Complaints are also handled differently in different precincts.
Contact the manager of the business and let the business know about the problem. You should not be expected to call and let manager know every time there is a problem to have it fixed—but it can be helpful to arrange to call a few times to be able to pinpoint the problem.
For loud music: call 311. These complaints go directly to the precinct and police respond to chronic complaints. Keep calling 311 every time you hear loud music and encourage your neighbors to do the same— many calls carries weight as well as calls from more than one number. Leave your contact information so that the precincts can contact you. Do the same for street noise associated with a business.
Email problems to the Community Board. We work with NYPD, Dept. of Environmental Protection, Dept. of Buildings to resolve issues. The community board will check if there are stipulations that are being violated. Sometimes there are also zoning regulations being violated.
Attend police community precinct meetings to discuss your problem.
If problem continues, remain in touch with community board. If there is an attempt to resolve and there are no longer complaints, we will assume the problem has been resolved. It is also important to continue to call 311.