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City of Rochester

FAQs - Neighborhood Service Centers

Where can I get a copy of the Tenant's Rights?    

  • Note: This is considered a civil matter and your Neighborhood Service Center is not a legal consultant
  • You may contact the Monroe County Legal Aid Society
  • You may contact an Attorney
  • NYS Attorney General - Andrew M. Cuomo's Office - 144 Exchange Blvd

Are you allowed to have an unlicensed vehicle on your property?   

  • No unlicensed or unregistered vehicles are allowed on any residential or unauthorized commercial property within the city limits
  • Options to abate the violation include:
    • Storing in an enclosed garage
    • Registering the vehicle
    • Obtain a 6 month storage permit from the City
    • Remove the vehicle
  • §NYS 120-163D

Who is my Neighborhood Group Association?   

What are the refuse requirements?   

  • Refuse containers should be stored on the side or rear of the main building
  • Place your toter no sooner than the night before your scheduled pick up
  • Put your toter away no later than 24 hours after your pick up
  • Properly prepare any loose items or debris
  • Call 311 to arrange for any special pick ups
  • For Commercial refuse, contact (585)428-8679
  • For Hazardous Waste, contact Monroe County Department of Health to arrange for special pick up.
  • §90-20 City Ordinance

What is the Noise Ordinance?   

  • No person shall make, continue, cause, or suffer or permit to be made or continued, and the owner and the person in control of a motor vehicle and the person in control of a premises shall not suffer nor permit to be made or continued, any excessive noise. It shall be prima facia evidence of a violation of this section if noise emanating from any source, including, but not limited to, voices or other sounds caused or emitted by humans, is:
    • Audible beyond the property line of the premises from which it emanates between the hours of 10 p.m. - 8 a.m. 
    • Audible at a distance of 50 feet beyond the property line of the remises from which it emanates between the hours of 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. 
    • Audible at a distance of 50 feet from the source if emanating from a public street, public park or other public place.
  • §75-4 City Ordinance    

What happens after reporting high grass and weeds and scattered debris?  

  • By reporting the property address and concern, an inspector will be sent to the property to address the concern.
  • Grass must be mowed and maintained less than 10 inches.
  • Trash and debris, including scattered debris, must be properly contained at all times.
  • When in violation, the owner has 5 business days to comply with the Notice and Order.
  • After re-inspection of the property, if the violation still exists, the owner will be issued a ticket for $150 for each offense.
  • The property is then sent to contract to have the violation removed at the owner's expense.
  • §19NYCRR(1226)302.4
  • You may contact the City of Rochester at (585)428-6520 to file a complaint, or you may submit a property complaint online using this online complaint form 

Who must obtain a Business Permit?    

  • Applicable businesses are:
    • Food Stores
    • Restaurants
    • Laundromat
    • Retail Store
    • Bar
    • Drug Store
    • Barber Shop/Salon
    • Automobile Service Facilities
  • A new Business Permit fee is $25.00
    • Fee is waived for City licensed businesses
    • A new permit is required when the owner/operators name, type or location changes.
  • Business Permits are renewed annually.
  • §90-33 City Ordinance  

My apartment has no heat, whom can I call?   

  • Heat must be provided by the property owner from September 15th to May 31st and be maintained at least 68 degrees.
  • A call by the tenant to the property owner BEFORE contacting the City of Rochester is the best courtesy to obtain compliance.
  • If contact to the landlord is unsuccessful or if the landlord refuses to correct the problem, a representative from the City of Rochester will attempt to contact the landlord.
  • If the landlord continues to be uncooperative, an inspector may then be sent to the property to assess the situation.
  • If your heat is not restored within 2 days, the owner is subject to being ticketed.
  • Additional options for the tenant include:
    • If the tenant is on DSS, contact the social worker for emergency housing
    • If the tenant is not on DSS, the Salvation Army has emergency housing
    • Suggest tenant stay with relative or friend
  • For assistance with a no heat situation, please contact the City of Rochester at (585)428-6520.
  • §19NYCRR(1226)602.3;  

How do I have graffiti removed from my building?   

  • A permission form (to be provided) must be signed by the property owner in order to have the graffiti removed.
  • If the property owner does not sign the permission form, the graffiti must be removed by the owner at his/her expense.
  • Please call 311 for more information or (585)428-5990 from outside the City limits   

What do I do when there has been illegal dumping on my property?   

  • An inspector will visit the property to observe the debris and secure any applicable affidavit and issue any necessary tickets.
  • If the illegal dumping is witnessed, contact your local Service Center office to submit an affidavit
    • Information to be obtained should include vehicle plate, description of vehicle, individual, date and time.
  • A reward is available if the violator is found guilty.
  • §90-16 City Ordinance;
  • §1220A Vehicle and Traffic Law including section 360-1.5  

What are the City's Snow Code regulations?   

  • The owner and/or ground floor tenant must maintain the sidewalks free from obstructions, snow and ice.
  • No person may plow or push snow onto any city Right-of-Way, which includes streets and sidewalks.
  • Fire hydrants should not be blocked by snow.  
  • Snow being pushed or plowed from one private property onto another is not enforceable by the City. This is strictly a civil matter.
  • Call 311 for City street and sidewalk plowing schedules and updates.
  • §104-11City Ordinance  

I may have asbestos in my basement, who do I call?   

  • Monroe County Health Department at (585)753-5075

I have rats on my property, who can I call?   

  • The owner is responsible for ridding the property of any rodent infestation.
  • If the rodents are coming from the property and the owner is not correcting the problem, you may contact the City of Rochester at (585)428-6520 to file a complaint, or you may submit a property complaint online using this online complaint form
  • If the rodents are coming from the sewers, call (585)753-5171 for Rodent Control.
  • §19NYCRR(1226)306.1  

What times are the Service Center offices open?

Normal operating hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday


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