Is There Illegal Activity Going On in Your Building? How to Spot the Problem and What to Do About It

A number of different things happening inside your building could make you suspicious. (iStock)

You can screen potential residents before letting them buy into your co-op or purchase a condo unit all you want, but that doesn’t mean you’ll catch everything. Sometimes things just go undiscovered during the initial screening process for residents or even building staff.

But what if it turns out that a new resident is doing something untoward in the building that he or she shouldn’t be doing? What if someone is breaking the law? And what if you need to call the police?

Signs to Watch Out For

Eric Goidel, an attorney and senior partner with the law firm of Borah Goldstein Altschuler Nahins & Goidel, P.C., which has offices in Manhattan and Queens, lays out four possible scenarios.

“One is potentially drug sales out of an apartment,” he says. “Two is prostitution out of an apartment. And then three is not drug sales but quality of life. For example, maybe marijuana odor [is] emanating from a particular apartment that's affecting neighbors. Four is often excessive noise from one apartment affecting neighbors.”

Odors and noise can be detectable. But more often than not, they’re nothing to really call the cops over. On the other hand, determining whether a resident is selling drugs or sex can be a little bit trickier.


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  • help. me. 275livonia . ave 14floor. n.c.h.a. Noise apartment. all hours of the day and night i have asked for help. from. p .s a . and ny congress men and women and still looking. Everybody. has. the same answer for me not get in trouble so when do someone get on the ball and stop telling me to do same (sh),🚧 and that what they leave me.