Williams Announces New Mid-year Accountability Report On City's Worst Landlords

December 21st, 2020

Press Release

He made the list, and now he'll be checking it twice. After unveiling the annual Worst Landlord Watchlist last week, spotlighting the 100 worst private landlords in New York City, Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams announced today that for the first time, the landlord accountability tool would be supplemented mid-year to demonstrate the regression and/or progression of the landlords featured.

Beginning in mid-2021, the office of the Public Advocate will issue expanded reporting on the actions and inactions of the worst landlords in the city named on the 2020 Worst Landlord Watchlist.

This mid-year assessment will offer an opportunity for New Yorkers to see whether bad actors have allowed conditions to stagnate or further deteriorate, spotlighting any changes in conditions of featured buildings. This will empower tenants to put pressure on bad landlords to more urgently address conditions. It will also present an opportunity for owners operating in good faith to show improvement by addressing conditions and finally responding to tenant needs. Landlords will remain in their existing ranking until the new list is released at the end of each calendar year.

"Accountability is not just an annual occurrence, it's an ongoing effort," said Public Advocate Williams. "Supplementing the yearly watchlist six months later will help tell a more complete story and give tenants the information and tools to demand change from the worst landlords in the city- while in turn enabling landlords to demonstrate some measure of progress if they are committed to improvement and encouraging responsible management."

For the mid-year analysis, Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Housing Maintenance Code Violations will be tracked from December 2020 to May 2021 in order to follow developments at these buildings since the original inclusion on the Worst Landlord Watchlist. The report, which will serve as an indicator of a landlord's overall developments on watchlist buildings either improvement or continued issues, will be added to the existing listing.

The Worst Landlord Watchlist catalogues the 100 most egregiously negligent landlords in New York City as determined by widespread, repeated, and unaddressed violations in buildings on the list. Released earlier this week, it is an information-sharing tool intended to allow tenants, public officials, advocates, and other concerned individuals to identify which residential property owners consistently flout the City's laws intended to protect the rights and safety of tenants. This year, the number one worst private landlord was Jason Korn, who also held the spot in 2019. The worst overall landlord was the New York City Housing Authority under the de Blasio administration.

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