What to Know
- The NYC public advocate's office has released its annual list of worst landlords for 2017
- The list is compiled using data gathered from the Department of Buildings and Department of Housing Preservation and Development
- The annual list puts bad landlords on notice and gives tenants the power they need to improve their living conditions
New York City's public advocate has released the latest batch of the annual "Worst Landlords Watchlist" in an ongoing effort to protect tenants from predatory and negligent landlords across the city.
The interactive database lists 100 landlords who have accumulated the most violations relative to the number of buildings they own. The list is compiled using data gathered from the Department of Buildings and Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
In addition to buildings owned by the "worst" landlords, the Watchlist includes the 10 worst buildings from each borough.
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Public Advocate Letitia James says the annual list puts bad landlords on notice and gives tenants the power they need to improve their living conditions. Eight of the 10 worst landlords are repeat offenders, according to James. But the city can't stop them from renting.
"There is nothing to stop them from participating in the open market, all we can do is make them comply with the law and the codes of the city," said James.
The worst landlord, according to the list, is Jonathan Cohen of Silvershore Properties. Cohen has 19 Brooklyn buildings on the 2017 watchlist, with an average of 1,090 HPD violations, and 15 DOB violations.
In a statement, Silvershore Properties said the majority of its properties were purchased from long-term owners who neglected the properties, "and many of the problems causing the violations were inherited at our purchase."
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"We have done a tremendous amount of work in these properties and expect the number of violations to be reduced significantly once the HPD dismissal inspections are scheduled this month," Silvershore Properties said.
"We have been extremely proactive about addressing any issues in each of the buildings," the statement continued. "The violations cannot be removed until there is an inspection; the majority of the work has been completed and we are awaiting an inspection date."
A tenant of one of the other 10 worst landlords on the list says his apartment has been deteriorating for over a year. Arthur James showed his apartment to News 4, pointing out missing burner plates, and broken or non-existent kitchen cabinents.
Other common complaints at the building included broken handles on the tub to mold on the floor, a broken smoke alarm and plastered-over mouse holes.
"Nothing ever gets done," said Ramon Carona. "You do the paperwork and nothing gets done."
Attempts to reach that landlord by phone were not successful. The city says he's been on the worst landlord list for the past three years.