The Office of the Public Advocate uses data obtained from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (“HPD”), from constituents and from other sources to identify landlords on the Watch List. If a corporate entity is identified as the landlord of a particular property, we list the named officer as the “landlord” of that entity. If you have reason to believe this information is incorrect or have additional information about the management of a particular property, please notify HPD and our office immediately at GetHelp@pubadvocate.nyc.gov or call (212) 669-7200 and include all relevant contact and other information.
For a landlord to be added to the Watch List, they must own a building with fewer than 35 units with an average of at least three open, serious violations (B and C violations) per unit. Larger buildings must have an average of at least two open, serious violations (B and C violations) per unit.
According to HPD, violations reflect information on three classes of housing code violations:
- Class A: Non-hazardous violations, such as minor leaks or lack of signs designating floor numbers. An owner has 90 days to correct an A violation and two weeks to certify repair to remove the violation.
- Class B: Hazardous violations, such as requiring public doors to be self-closing, adequate lighting in public areas, lack of posted Certificate of Occupancy, or removal of vermin. An owner has 30 days to correct a B violation and two weeks to certify the correction to remove the violation.
- Class C: Immediately hazardous violations, such as inadequate fire exits, rodents, lead-based paint, lack of heat, hot water, electricity, or gas. An owner has 24 hours to correct a C violation and five days to certify the correction to remove the violation. If the owner fails to comply with emergency C violations such as lack of heat or hot water, HPD initiates corrective action through its Emergency Repair Program.
- Class I: Violations for which there is an order from a judge to correct a violation. This category also applies if the building is in the Alternative Enforcement Program or an order to vacate exists.
Properties classified as "buildings in rehabilitation" (see list here) may be exempted from inclusion on the Worst Landlords Watchlist. The Public Advocate's office, in partnership with the City, has developed criteria, below, for buildings that have violations that would otherwise qualify them for Watchlist but are in the process of rehabilitation by responsible owners. In order to be exempt from inclusion on the Worst Landlords Watchlist, a property must either (1) be assigned to a court-appointed 7A Administrator or (2) meet all of the following criteria: (a) Owner purchased building within the past 18 months; (b) The building and/or owner has been noted publicly as working with City Agencies on rehabilitation; and (c) The City has verified that the building and/or owner have partnered with City Agencies on the rehabilitation of the premises.
Landlord information contained on the Worst Landlords Watchlist is based on data contained in HPD Property Registration Forms. For more information about HPD’s Property Registration Unit including details on how to update your property’s registration, call (212) 863-7000 or click here. In cases where a property’s HPD Registration appears out-of-date, the Office of the Public Advocate may also consult the New York City Department of Finance’s Automated City Register Information System (ACRIS). In cases where ACRIS indicates a change in ownership that is more up-to-date than the property’s HPD registration, data from ACRIS is used in place of data from HPD Property Registration Forms.