Every prospective New York City tenant would love a tool to tell them which landlords won't fix their leaky faucets, tend to their bedbugs or repair their broken heaters in due time before they sign a lease.
Fortunately for renters, the city now provides such a resource.
Now, "NYC's Worst Landlords Watchlist,'' is accessible via a link on Craigslist's apartment search page as part of a partnership between the city and the online classifieds site to promote tenant awareness and encourage landlord responsibility.
The list, with the help of Google maps, exposes landlords with the worst inspection records. You can search for landlords or addresses on the list by borough and the number of infractions or just check out the 50 worst landlords, according to the list. The new, bilingual page also offers tenants a place to tell their own stories and explains how to file a complaint.
New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio announced the "worst landlord" venture Monday morning as one component of an eight-point package related to housing reform.
The package also includes a proposal that would deprive landlords with questionable records of certain taxpayer subsidies, including the withholding of new leases or renewals from city agencies, reports The New York Times.
The plan also calls for a partnership with private law firms to provide pro bono help in housing court.
Not all the proposals are intended to punish landlords.
One of the suggestions would help landlords get access to capital so they could repair shoddy buildings more quickly, reports the Times.
Another would cut red tape in the certification and inspection process.
"We like this because with the public advocate’s help we can quickly learn more about the people we’re preparing to do business with," Mark Daly, a spokesman for the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, which manages leases for city agencies, told the Times. "It will send a message to our vendors that we’re working as one city on this issue."