On Monday, Public Advocate Letitia James released the 2015 Worst Landlords Watchlist, a database of the worst landlords in New York City, and Brooklyn landlords accounted for the most violations across the five boroughs, while one Crown Heights landlord, Yechiel Weinberger, was cited amongst the ten worst, citywide.
The Worst Landlords Watchlist was started in 2010 by then-Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and is an information-sharing tool intended to allow residents, public officials and other concerned individuals identify which buildings and property owners are in constant violation of the law and hold those landlords accountable.
The Watchlist includes data from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), and for the first time, data from the Department of Buildings (DOB).
For a landlord to be added to the Watchlist, they must own a building with a minimum threshold of violations (HPD) or open complaints (DOB) per unit: for buildings with fewer than 35 units, there must be an average of at least three open, serious violations or active complaints per unit; for larger buildings with 35 units or more there must be an average of at least two open, serious violations or active complaints per unit. Serious violations are HPD violations in class B and C and DOB and serious complaints are those with a priority code of A, B, or C. If a corporate entity is identified as the landlord of a particular property, we list the named officer as the "landlord" of that entity.
This year, close to 3,400 landlords made the list, with Brooklyn accounting for the most violations. Six buildings in Central and East Brooklyn were named "Worst Landlord Buildings," with three of those properties owned by Yechiel Weinberger, who also was listed #3 amongst the top-10 worst landlords across the city.
TOP TEN WORST LANDLORDS
- Ved Parkash (7200 units in 11 buildings with 2235 HPD violations and 134 DOB complaints)
- Harry D. Silverstein (4080 units in 7 buildings with 1482 HPD violations and 81 DOB complaints)
- Yechiel Weinberger (3160 units in 11 buildings with 1392 HPD violations and 52 DOB complaints)
- Moshe Piller (4010 units in 8 buildings with 1263 HPD violations and 168 DOB complaints)
- Allan Goldman (18626 units in 28 buildings with 1324 HPD violations and 15 DOB complaints)
- Joel Goldstein (3190 units in 12 buildings with 1207 HPD violations and 20 DOB complaints)
- Shaul Koplowitz (2340 units in 5 buildings with 1067 total violations and 5 DOB complaints)
- Jason Korn (2250 units in 5 buildings with 946 HPD violations and 11 DOB complaints)
- Richard Liriano (2200 units in 5 buildings with 852 HPD violations and 14 DOB complaints)
- Jonathan Cohen (940 units in 11 buildings with 834 HPD violations and 15 DOB complaints)
"Worst Landlords" Buildings in Central and East Brooklyn:
- 196 Rockaway Parkway (Brownsville); 175 violations; Owner, Yechiel Weinberger
- 1014 Eastern Parkway (Crown Heights); 198 violations; Owner, Yechiel Weinberger
- 47 MacDonough (Bedford Stuyvesant); 132 violations; Owner, Naftali Englander
- 942 Eastern Parkway (Crown Heights); 137 violations; Owner, John Touhey
- 972 Eastern Parkway (Crown Heights); 162 violations; Owner, Yechiel Weinberger
- 285 Schenectady Avenue (Crown Heights); 168 violations, Owner, Marc Chemtob
Residents or prospective tenants looking for an apartment in Central or East Brooklyn can go here, to enter an address and identify which buildings in their area carry violations, the number of violations and the names of the landlords. Also, for the first time, the list allows tenants to track housing court activity of their landlords. And soon, new legislation will require the City expand its database to include information about violations, tenant complaints, and tax liens.
New York City Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Vicki Been said the agency is pursuing rigorous enforcement actions to hold bad landlords accountable, through programs such as HPD's Alternative Enforcement Program, which monitors and requires repairs to the 250 most distressed buildings in the city.
"Every New Yorker deserves to live in safety and security, and every apartment needs to meet basic standards of decency," said Public Advocate Letitia James. "Unfortunately, unscrupulous landlords throughout our City are failing to uphold these basic rights - creating inhumane living conditions for tenants. The Worst Landlords Watchlist puts these bad actors on notice, and is a vital resource and tool for tenants. The Watchlist is not a cure all, but we have seen improvements in a number of buildings. We will never stop fighting against bad landlords and for the rights of tenants across our City."