There are five telltale signs that work is being performed illegally:
1. Work after hours. The New York City Department of Buildings permits work only Monday through Friday 7 A.M. to 6 P.M. Co-ops and condos tend to further restrict the hours (so as not to inconvenience or disturb residents). The most flexible ones usually allow work 9 A.M. – 5 P.M.
2. No work permits posted. If walls are being demolished or moved, a work permit is needed. It doesn’t matter how small the wall is.
3. Nobody on the job site speaks English. If the contractor does not speak English, chances are that he is not licensed and insured.
4. Work contrary to approved plans. Posted work permits list in abbreviated form the scope of approved work. If permits indicate demolition and new walls are being built, something is wrong.
5. Questionable safety. If workers are on scaffolds and do not have safety harnesses, they probably do not have the required OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) certifications. If they do, then they are violating code.