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3 of the City's Worst Landlords Own Properties in Brooklyn

At least three of the five worst private landlords ranked in the public advocates annual list for 2021 have one or more properties in Brooklyn
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749 Lafayette Avenue, one of the properties owned by one of the worst landlords, Nathaniel Montgomery. Photo: Google Maps.

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is the city's worst landlord for the fourth year in a row, according to the 2021 Worst Landlord Watchlist released Thursday.

According to PubIic Advocate Jumaane Williams, whose office compiles the list, NYCHA saw a dramatic increase in the number of deteriorating or dangerous conditions in its buildings in 2021.

As of November 2021, there were 600,480 open work orders in NYCHA buildings across the city â€" an increase of over 121,600 from the previous year.

"The de Blasio administration will end with a significantly greater number of open orders than when it began in January of 2013, when NYCHA reported a backlog of over 420,000 work orders citywide," Williams' office said.

The graphic shows how the worst landlords' building are concentrated in areas where non-white populations are more concentrated. Photo: Public Advocate's Office

But NYCHA wasn't the only one letting tenants down in 2021. The report also named the five worst private landlords in the city.

The worst private landlord in New York City this year was David Schorr, who amassed an average 1,442 open violations across 17 buildings featured on the watchlist.

Schorr made a huge jump this year, after being ranked the 75th worst on the 2020 list. Schorr’s buildings are primarily located in Harlem and Morningside Heights, and have severe open violations including rat and roach infestations, mold, leaks and lead paint, among other issues.

Schorr also owns a number of buildings with violations in Brooklyn, including Bed-Stuy's 29 Brooklyn Avenue, which has 77 Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) violations.

The graphic shows how the worst landlords' building are concentrated in areas where low-income populations are more concentrated. Photo: Public Advocate's Office

Also on the list was Abdul Khan, with an average of 1,302 HPD open violations; Nathaniel Montgomery, with an average of 1,192 HPD open violations; Michael Niamonitakis, with an average of 1,060 HPD open violations; and David Blau, with an average of 1,050 HPD open violations.

Montgomery owns a number of properties with open violations in Bed-Stuy and Bushwick, including 749 Lafayette Avenue and 378 Throop Avenue, which has a whopping average of 229 HPD open violations.

Blau owns a number of properties with open violations in South Brooklyn.

The annual list catalogues the 100 most negligent landlords in the city as determined by widespread, repeated and unaddressed violations in buildings on the list.

The 2021 Worst Landlord Watchlist indicates that, throughout the last year of the pandemic, many landlords have further neglected building repairs, the report said.

NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams
NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. Photo: Nigel Roberts

This is evidenced by an overall rise in violations across landlords on the list, as well as an increase in violations reported to the HPD across the city. 

"While the top name on our list is new, the patterns of neglect and abuse by bad landlords are all too familiar,” Williams said.

“The city needs to invest the resources needed to stop landlords from treating violations as negligible, fines as the cost of doing business, and profits as more valuable than the people living in their buildings."

Williams took the opportunity to call on the incoming City Council to move swiftly to pass the Worst Landlord Accountability Act.

The first bill of the Act would prevent the city’s worst landlords from falsely self-certifying repairs, and the second would mandate that HPD respond more rapidly to severe violations. 

View the full Worst Landlord Watchlist, and check to see if your address is owned by a 2021 worst landlord, by visiting

Jessy Edwards

About the Author: Jessy Edwards

Jessy Edwards is an award-winning news and feature reporter whose work can be seen in such publications as NBC New York, Rolling Stone, the BBC, CNBC and more.
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