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Posted on 12/27/2011
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio today announced the latest additions and new features to his New York City’s Worst Landlords Watch List. There are now 317 landlords listed, and the updated Watch List now tracks whether their violations are on the rise or being repaired. The site, which is featured on Craigslist.org to assist apartment hunters, also includes a new list of 176 buildings recently removed from the Watch List because violations like lead paint, infestations and mold have been addressed. The innovative website will soon be adopted as a model by the City of Vancouver, British Columbia to hold landlords there more accountable.
“Since first launching the Watch List, we’ve helped to successfully pressure landlords to improve the safety and living conditions for thousands of New Yorkers,” said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. “There is more work to be done, so we’re building on this progress by launching new features today that will increase pressure on landlords who refuse to address violations, supply even more helpful information to apartment hunters, and continue to provide residents an outlet to report landlords who fail to follow the law.”
New York City’s Worst Landlords Watch List now features:
- New trend indicators that track whether a landlord is making repairs or racking up new violations
- A list of 176 buildings that qualify for removal from the Watch List due to public pressure, tenant organizing and repairs made by landlords and the Department of Housing Preservation & Development.
The current Top 5 Worst Landlords by number of cumulative violations on the Watch List are:
#1 -- 1071 Home Corp, 1178 hazardous violations in 8 Watch List buildings
#2 -- Maristanc Corp, 654 hazardous violations in 1 Watch List building
#3 -- Carroll Place Associates LLC, 577 hazardous violations in Watch List 2 buildings
#4 -- 2239 Creston Ave Co LLC, 536 hazardous violations in 2 Watch List buildings
#5 -- Lawrence Price, 485 hazardous violations in 1 Watch List building
All entries on the Watch List have a minimum of two hazardous housing code violations per unit such as lack of heat or hot water, lead paint, toxic mold or broken plumbing. Public Advocate de Blasio launched NYC’s Worst Landlords Watch List in 2010 to shine a spotlight on repeat offenders whose buildings have fallen into dangerous disrepair. More than 250,000 visitors have used the Watch List since its launch.
The enhanced Watch List is available at: www.landlordwatchlist.com
Said State Senator Liz Krueger, “ Knowledge is power, and by identifying these bad landlords, the Watch List enables tenants to fight for their rights to safe and healthy homes. I applaud the Public Advocate for developing this extremely valuable source of information both for current tenants and those seeking apartments.”
“I commend Public Advocate De Blasio for ensuring that information regarding New York's worst slumlords is readily available and accessible to New Yorkers. Unfortunately too many of these landlords and building are in the Bronx, but this program has helped to warn Bronxites before they rent from a bad landlord and has also shamed some into improving their behavior,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. “The transparency created through New York City's Worst Landlords Watch List is part of a larger need to hold bad landlords accountable for their actions and inaction, in the Bronx and throughout New York City.”
"New York City's worst landlords are about to have even more of a reason to clean up their act" said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. "Public Advocate De Blasio's Watch List has been one of the most important tools in the fight against negligent landlords, and with the new features that have been added, tenants will have more resources at their disposal to improve their living conditions."
“Public Advocate De Blasio has done the tenant population of this city a great service with this watch list. The fact remains that there are not enough legal protections against landlords who neglect to do basic upkeep and maintenance of their buildings. Thousands of tenants are victimized by unsafe conditions that especially endanger children, the elderly and the sick, our most vulnerable New Yorkers,” said Council Member Jumaane Williams. “As we continue our fight to raise standards for our landlords, this list serves as a way for current and prospective tenants to be educated and to tell their stories as well.
“I applaud Public Advocate Bill de Blasio's continued efforts in securing habitable conditions for all New Yorkers. 176 buildings got their act right, but we obviously still have a ways to go,” said Council Member Letitia James. It is extremely unfortunate that families must endure these harsh living conditions. I am committed to working with the Public Advocate to reinforce housing laws and ensure that landlord violations are corrected throughout the city, particularly 245 Sullivan Place and 816 Franklin Avenue both located within my district.”
“The Watch List is a powerful tool that strengthens our organizing in neglected buildings. We’re organizing in 41-45 Elliot Place, who has the 3rd worst landlord in the Bronx. To be able to say to tenants that you live in one of the worst buildings in the Bronx, is a powerful organizing tool,” said Susanna Blankley, Lead Organizer at Community Action for Safe Apartments (CASA).
“It is important for tenants to stand up together along with organizations like New York Communities for Change and fight for what they deserve: a clean safe and well taken care of place to live. We the renters need as many tools as possible to gets the repairs we need done and draw attention to these slumlords that plague our city. The Worst Landlord Watch List is one of these tools that helps bring light to our issues and we greatly appreciate the Public Advocate for continued support in this fight,” said Steve Nurse, member of New York Communities for Change and tenant at 150 West 179th Street, a Watch List building.