Billionaire Property Owner Sues Letitia James for $15M Over Placement on Worst Landlords List

The real estate mogul asserts that four of the six buildings cited in James' report are vacant and scheduled to be demolished

What to Know

  • Billionaire property owner Kamran Hakim is suing Public Advocate Letitia James for $15 million over his place on her worst landlords list
  • Hakim appeared on the list in 2015 and 2016 as one of the top 50 worst landlords in the city
  • The estimated value of Hakim's 129 properties throughout the city is $1.8 billion

A billionaire real state investor who made back-to-back apperances on Letitia James' "100 Worst Landlords Watchlist" has slapped the public advocate with a $15 million lawsuit.

Kamran Hakim, who owns multiple buildings throughout the city, was ranked the 52nd worst landlord in 2016 and the 34th worst landlord in 2015. He says Public Advocate Letitia James didn't do her homework and claims most of his buildings cited on the list don't have tenants, DNAInfo reported.

Darren Marks, Hakim's attorney, said the suit has been filed. They'll appear in court within the next few weeks to show cause on a restraining order on the watchlist, which Hakim wants eradicated.

The Iranian billionaire asserts that four of the six buildings cited in James' report are vacant and scheduled to be demolished. Hakim racked up 453 violations in 56 units throughout the four buildings in 2016.

James has previously included vacant buildings on her watchlist. She included the owner of the landmarked Windmere building near 57th Street and 9th Avenue on the 2014 and 2015 editions, but it had been without tenants since 2009."

"Tenants know they can count on Public Advocate James to stand up for them, even when it means taking on poweful landlords," a spokesperson for James told NBC 4 New York in a statement. "The public advocate will continue to use the Worst Landlords List and accompanying litigation and legislation, as a tool to protect New Yorkers from unscrupulous landlords."

A 2014 Bloomberg article estimates Hakim's 129 properties throughout the city to be worth $1.8 billion.

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