As the year comes to a close, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams released the NYC “2020 Landlord Watchlist."
Released annually, Williams’s office catalogues the top 100 landlords with the most building violations and, ironically, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) shares the top spot along with Brooklyn landlord, Jason Korn. (This is NYCHA’s third year atop the list and Korn’s second.)
Most of the listed landlords own properties in predominantly black and brown communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Korn, with his 10 buildings -- which average around 1,822 violations, each -- reportedly attempted to force tenants out during the pandemic; despite the eviction moratorium.
“In a moment when New Yorkers are largely confined to their homes, facing a deadly pandemic and an economic crisis, the worst landlords in New York City continue to take advantage of New Yorkers in need, neglecting emergency repairs and allowing dangerous conditions to go unchecked while continuing to cash rent checks," Williams noted. "Again, we see the COVID-19 pandemic revealing existing inequities, as the worst landlords operate in some of the worst-hit neighborhoods in our city and target lower income communities of more color."
NYCHA buildings are exponentially worse -– with open work orders having almost doubled to 461,000 in the last two years. Citing mismanagement and failure to take appropriate action, Williams claims that Mayor Bill de Blasio is responsible for these deplorable living conditions. "The de Blasio administration itself is among the worst landlords this year, in part because they have failed to hold bad actors accountable again and again throughout this tenure," Williams said. "As he heads into his eighth and final year in office, the issues we have today are no longer about any actions taken by the prior administration, but the utter failures of the current one and the need to take ownership of those failures. Together with tenants and advocates across the city, we will continue to hold the mayor and everyone on this list accountable through legislation and organization."
Click here to find out if your address appears on the Worst Landlord Watchlist - https://landlordwatchlist.com/
If you believe your landlord is not acting in compliance with the law, please feel free to reach out to one of our attorneys, by calling 212-619-5400.