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The original item was published from 11/16/2020 2:01:00 PM to 11/16/2020 2:11:43 PM.

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Posted on: October 7, 2020

[ARCHIVED] The Good Neighbor Handbook

Table of Contents

  • 1. Where to Start: SeeClickFix and Search Albany
  • 2. Property Maintenance, Including Trash and Recycling
  • 3. Snow Emergencies and Removal
  • 4. Tenants And Landlords Rights and Responsibilities
  • 5. Building Permits Needed for Construction and City Rehab Funds
  • 6. Dog Owner Responsibilities and Other Animal Issues
  • 7. Public Safety Where do I report a crime or other public safety issue?
  • 8. A Directory of Albany Services Benefiting Residents



    1. Where to Start: SeeClickFix and Search Albany 

    Can I report a non-emergency City issue such as a pothole or an overgrown lot without  making a phone call? 

    You can. SeeClickFix is a free and user-friendly mobile app and web tool that allows  
    people to report and track quality-of-life issues and “get things fixed where they live  
    or work. Constituents can use it to report non-emergency neighborhood issues such as  
    graffiti, potholes, damaged trees, illegal parking, vacant buildings, and illegal trash.  

    With SeeClickFix, people can map the location of an issue, add video or photos, and   
    include comments. City of Albany staff monitors issues, responds to posts, and   
    addresses problems. The communication between constituents and staff is direct,  
    transparent and trackable.   

    SeeClickFix users can monitor their issue or issues in a specific neighborhood with the neighborhood watch   
    feature from the time they are reported until they are addressed. To use the app, go to SeeClickFix or  
    download the SeeClickFix app on your smartphone. 

    Is there a convenient online tool where I can learn about my neighborhood? 

    There is. Search Albany is a powerful resource to get information about your property and neighborhood. Its  
    an interactive online map that includes web links and data to make it easier to access property information,  
    explore local government, collaborate with partners, and connect with community assets.  

    Search Albany, also known as MapGeo, allows you to click  

    on your property to find out your trash pickup day, access  
    your tax bill, and find the value of your home as well as find  
    contact information for your Common Council Member and   
    Police Neighborhood Engagement Officer. By clicking on   

    the Themes buttons, you can find out more about cultural  
    resources as well as locate historic districts, nearby green  
    space, zoning boundaries, neighborhood associations, and  
    more. As a Google-based map, it also helps you to visualize  
    your neighborhood with a street view, get driving directions,  
    click on bus stops for schedules, and create custom maps to  
    share with others. 



















    2. Property Maintenance, Including Trash and Recycling 

    (For more detail, see DGS’s new information portal: 

    How must I maintain my property?  

    All properties and buildings must be kept free of conditions that are unsightly or unsafe. Each property owner  

    is required to maintain their property to the curb or street, keeping sidewalks and planting strips free of weeds,  debris and obstructions. 

    If you are concerned about a property, or an empty lot is overgrown, or there is an accumulation of weeds,  

    trash, debris, junk or animal feces, use SeeClickFix or call the Department of General Services at (518) 434-CITY  (2489). If the debris is not considered a health or safety hazard, property owners will be posted and will have  

    five days to clean it up. If the debris is considered a hazard, DGS will clean it up and bill the property owners.  

    For these other public nuisance conditions, contact the Department of Buildings & Regulatory Compliance at  
    (518) 434-5995: 

    • Buildings without proper permits, which must be displayed in windows  

    • Dilapidated signs or structures, including sheds, garages and fences 

    • Signs advertising a business that is no longer there 

    • Major vehicle repair activity, including auto body work, in residential areas 

    • Overcrowding of homes or apartments or illegal units in a home 

    • Construction or power equipment noise before 7 a.m. or after 10 p.m. 

    • Vehicles stored on property planting strips and in alleys instead of in residents’ off-street   

    parking areas; if vehicles are stored on streets, contact the Albany Parking Authority   
    ( /(518) 434-8886)  

    Where do I report graffiti?  

    Graffiti can be reported through SeeClickFix or  
    DGS at (518) 434-CITY (2489).  

    Where do I report a vacant building? 

    Reporting vacant buildings and their condition in a timely manner is  
    important in preventing properties from deteriorating, which hurts a  
    property and a neighborhood.  

    Report vacant buildings to Sam Wells, the City of Albany Neighborhood Stabilization Coordinator, at or (518) 694-4813 so the City can keep an accurate count of them and pursue issues  
    and policies to decrease their numbers.  

    Report code violations, such as a broken window or staircase, or a hole in a siding or roof, to SeeClickFix or the  Department of Buildings & Regulatory Compliance at or (518) 434-5995. If the vacant  
    property is overgrown or has a sidewalk that has not been cleared of snow, contact the Department of  
    General Services at or (518) 434-CITY (2489). If it is clear a vacant  

    building is owned by the Albany County Land Bank (their sign will be on the building), report any code  

    issues, complaints, or interest in purchasing the property to the Land Bank at  
    or (518) 407-0309. 








    What are the rules around trash pickup? 

    Albanys Department of General Services collects trash weekly, including holidays, from residential dwellings  with four or fewer units. All others, including mixed-occupancy buildings, must contract for private collection.  

    Trash should be placed curbside between 4:30 p.m. and midnight  
    the day prior to pickup. Excessive quantities of trash are subject   

    to a bill and a fine. Large household items such as furniture,  
    mattresses and toilets may be placed at the curb in limited   
    quantities. The same is true of a small number of trash bags.   

    If you are placing such items curbside, please notify DGS at   

    (518) 434-CITY (2489) during normal business hours at least   

    24 hours prior to your collection day.  



    Do I have to separate my recyclables? 

    Residents can put all their recyclables in a single-stream   
    recycling cart or bin that is provided for free by the City.   
    Recyclables are picked up once a week on the same day   
    that trash is picked up. DGS also sponsors paper shredding   and book recycling events two times a year.   

    Check for dates and details. 





    What should I do with my yard waste, such as  
    branches, grass and leaves? 

    From spring to fall, Albany residents can place their yard waste  
    curbside in compostable bags. Branches up to four feet long can  
    be placed curbside, but they must be bundled and tied. Albany  
    turns this yard waste in to compost, mulch and woodchips, which  
    are free to Albany residents for use in landscaping or home   
    gardens. For more information, visit 

    What do I do with hazardous waste or electronics? 

    New York State law forbids residents from disposing electronics or hazardous waste in the trash, curbside or   in landfills. These include phones, computers, game consoles, TVs, motor oil, light bulbs, batteries, cleaning   
    products, paints, pesticides, and more (for a complete list, visit  

    Electronics and hazardous waste can also be disposed at hazardous waste and electronics drop-off events  throughout the year at the Rapp Road Landfill. To participate in these drop-off events, you must pre-register  online by visiting or by calling DGS at (518) 434-CITY (2489).   

    Electronics can also be dropped off at DGS at 1 Richard J. Conners Blvd. Monday through Friday   
    from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. 









    3. Snow Emergencies and Removal  

    (For more detail, see DGS’s new information portal: 

    Do I have to clear ice and snow from the   

    sidewalk around my house? 

    Yes, property owners are responsible for keeping sidewalks  
    and ramps along their property lines clear of snow and ice  
    so that people can safely come and go to services, jobs and  
    schools. According to City Code 323-21, property owners  
    must clear the snow and ice within 24 hours after a   
    snowstorm ends.  

    If your sidewalk is not cleared within 24 hours, the   
    Department of General Services can clear the sidewalk.   

    The property owner will be issued a bill for the cost of   
    removal and charged a fine, which if unpaid, will be added   
    to the owners tax bill. If you would like to report a concern   
    regarding snow and ice removal, report it through   
    SeeClickFix or call the Department of General Services  

    at (518) 434-CITY (2489). 

    What should I expect during a Snow Emergency? 

    When it is snowing, the Citys priority is to keep the driving lanes open for safe passage of emergency vehicles  and other traffic. Snow Emergencies are called to remove remaining snow from parking lanes, parking lots   

    and streets. 

    When a Snow Emergency is declared its announced in the following ways: radio & TV news; message boards &  signs placed on City streets; the Citys website and City of Albany social media pages; the Snow Hotline (518)  476-SNOW (7669); or the Nixle app on your smartphone; and 

    During a snow emergency, normal parking regulations are temporarily suspended. Vehicles must be parked on  the even side of the street for the first 24 hours of a Snow Emergency and on the odd side of the street for the  second 24 hours. For locations of City parking lots that are made available during a Snow Emergency, go to and visit the Department of General Services’ Snow Emergency page.  

    If your car is parked on the wrong side of the street and towed during a Snow Emergency, call the Albany Police  Department at (518) 438-4000 for information. Once the snow emergency is over, all parking regulations go  
    back to normal.  
















    4. Tenants’ And Landlords’ Rights and Responsibilities  


    City of Albany, NY 
    Renters Bill of Rights 

    As a renter in the City of Albany, you have 


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    Live in an  apartment  that is    
    clean and    sanitary 






    No leaky  roofs 

    Adequate    heat (min.  68° F) from    

    Sep. 15 to  
    May 31 






    No exposed  wiring 

    Hot water 









    No holes  in walls 


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    ay 15 to    






    No inse 







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    h an  
     list of    












    Your landlord  may not enter    your apart- 
    ment without  reasonable  
    prior notice. 





    discrimination  by your  




    that work  properly 








    No physical  or verbal  

    Not be locked  out of your    
    without a  
    court order. 

    Not have your  rent increased  during the    

    term of your    

    Get your 

    back wit 
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    any ded 

    An active  
    Residential  Occupancy    Permit  

    No retaliation if  you report your  landlord to the  city or other  


    If you have any of these issues, contact your landlord, the City of Albany Codes  
    Department at (518) 434-5410, or the United Tenants of Albany Housing Hotline at      

    (518) 436-8997.  For more information point your phone camerto this QR code or visit: 










































    If tenants have questions about their situation, they should contact the United Tenants of Albany (255 Orange  St./Albany, NY 12206/Housing Hotline - (518) 436-8997 extension 3, or  
    The Legal Aid Society may also be able to help: 95 Central Avenue/Albany, New York 12206 or (518) 462-6765.