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Brooklyn’s ‘Worst Landlord’ Reaches Settlement With Housing Department

Jason Korn, who topped the Worst Landlord Watchlist two year in a row, will pay $235,000 and fix housing violations in nearly 400 homes
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1439 Ocean Avenue, one of Korn’s properties. Photo: Google Maps.

Brooklyn building owner Jason Korn, who has topped the NYC Public Advocate’s Worst Landlord Watchlist two years in a row, has reached a settlement with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development over accusations of tenant harassment and building neglect.

As part of the settlement, Korn will fix all outstanding building violations within 90 days and end tenant harassment in six buildings impacting 388 households in Brooklyn and Manhattan. He agreed to pay $235,000 in civil penalties and comply with the City’s tenant harassment laws.

The settlement comes after an investigation by HPD’s Anti-Harassment Unit and Division of Code Enforcement spanning six buildings, four of which are in Flatbush. The buildings include: 1921 Avenue I, 1439 Ocean Avenue, 578 East 17 Street and 250 East 29 Street.

The investigation uncovered hundreds of violations over 35 site visits and found a pattern of “gross building neglect resulting in unsafe conditions, such as infestation of vermin including roaches and mice, mold, lead-based paint and water leaks,” HPD said.

The investigation also found Korn falsely certificated the correction of violations.

HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll said landlords had a responsibility to provide safe housing for their tenants and when they failed to meet that responsibility, there had to be consequences.

“Even while we offer assistance to tenants and landlords who are struggling to maintain their properties, landlords should know that HPD will also use the full weight of its enforcement capabilities if they repeatedly fail to uphold their obligation to ensure that New Yorkers live in safe and secure housing,” she said.

HPD will continue to monitor the buildings for compliance with the settlement agreement and said it would seek additional penalties in court if the violations were not corrected on time. 

A property owner's failure to fix dangerous conditions or frequent disruptions of or failure to supply water, heat, gas, or electric service may constitute harassment, HPD said.

If tenants believe that the owner of their building is withholding essential services or not making repairs to force them to move out of their apartment, they can contact HPD's Anti-Harassment Unit by calling 311.