NEW YORK -- Is your landlord one of the worst in New York City?
Public Advocate Letitia James released a list Thursday of the city's worst landlords -- their tenants living with a range of problems including cockroaches, leaks, mold, lack of hot water and rat infestations.
This year’s Watchlist, designed to hold the landlords accountable, highlights only the top 100 worst landlords and the top 20 worst buildings in each borough. For the first time, the Watchlist includes Department of Building (DOB) violations and Department of Finance (DOF) data on tax liens.
The top 10 worst landlords are:
1. Harry Silverstein (575 units in 8 buildings with 2032 HPD violations and 50 DOB violations)
2. Allan Goldman (187 units in 25 buildings with 1193 HPD violations and 15 DOB violations)
3. Efstathios Valiotis (237 units in 8 buildings with 1077 HPD violations and 64 DOB violations)
4. Martin Kirzner (280 units in 11 buildings with 1036 HPD violations and 23 DOB violations)
5. Ved Parkash (257 units in 4 buildings with 992 HPD violations and 28 DOB violations)
6. Mark Silber (216 units in 10 buildings with 998 HPD violations and 5 DOB violations)
7. Michael Niamonitakis (225 units in 5 buildings with 936 HPD violations and 13 DOB violations)
8. Felix Gomez (260 units in 6 buildings with 939 HPD violations and 3 DOB violations)
9. Rawle Isaacs (214 units in 4 buildings with 869 HPD violations and 22 DOB violations)
10. Joel Kohn (152 units in 23 buildings with 823 HPD violations and 33 DOB violations)
Clara Wainwright, 72, has lived at 919 Prospect Avenue for more than 30 years but the last few have been particularly difficult.
That's when her landlord Seth Miller sealed off her bathroom and makes this septuagenarian walk down a flight of stairs, even in the middle of the night, to use the bathroom in another apartment that's under construction.
When PIX11 asked Clara what she thought of her landlord, she replied: "Something is wrong with him. He has no consideration for people."
At a noisy rally in Foley Square, NYC Public Advocate Letitia James called Wainwright's building the worst in the Bronx with 525 city housing violations.
Rev. Leander Hardaway gave PIX11 a tour of his three bedroom apartment on the second floor.
The Reverend and his wife are trying to raise four children here and pay $1,850 a month but say the rats are taking over.
"I work hard for the money for the rent, Ikuko Hardaway, a resident,"but this not healthy for my children."
Members of the Public Advocate’s Office visited at least one building owned by each of the 100 Worst Landlords in the weeks prior to the list being released, speaking to tenants, taking photos, and personally inspecting building conditions.
A tenant at 750 Grand Concourse says her building is filled with rats and cockroaches, and that her daughter now has asthma because of the living conditions.
"I think the Public Advocate’s Watchlist is extremely important because it means that he is still getting lots of attention," said Yoselyn Gomez, a tenant at 750 Grand Concourse, owned by Ved Parkash. “My building is filled with rats and cockroaches, and the elevator is always dirty. My daughter developed asthma living in these conditions, and it's really important he still gets attention, so that tenants don't have to take him to court, like we did, in order to make simple repairs.”
In order to be included on the Watchlist, a building must first meet the selection criteria:
- Only multi-family rental buildings are eligible.
- Co-ops and condominiums are excluded, as well as rental buildings with fewer than 3 units.
- Each multifamily residential building that is registered with HPD is assigned a score based on 1) the number of HPD and DOB violations issued to that building and 2) the number of units in the building.
“Every New Yorker deserves a safe and decent place to live, and every apartment must meet basic standards of decency,” said Public Advocate Letitia James. “The Landlord Watchlist has become a critical tool for helping tenants organize against unscrupulous landlords, has assisted with the criminal convictions of some of New York’s worst landlords, and has led to better living conditions for countless New Yorkers. We will never stop fighting for the housing rights of every New Yorker.”