Public Advocate Letitia James’s annual “Worst Landlord Watchlist” went live Monday — but is it helpful, or libelous?
Released in tandem with a tenant rally organized by the public advocate’s office, the list is determined by how many violations the property owner has relative to the quantity of units they manage.
According to the NYC Landlord Watchlist, Central Brooklyn — Prospect Heights, Bed Stuy and Bushwick, as well as Brownsville — represents the borough’s most plagued neighborhoods. Ditmas Park and Flatbush are also pocked with buildings meeting watchlist violation criteria.
Meanwhile, the Bergen Beach, Marine Park and Mill Basin sections of Brooklyn have an almost-flawless housing stock, according to the list.
James’s list ranks 855 E. 19th Street as Brooklyn’s worst building. Quite a looker from the outside, the six-story apartment complex has a stately entrance but 488 Housing Preservation and Development violations, as well as three Department of Buildings Complaints.
Owned by Peter Kraus, head officer of Flatbush Builders Inc., 257 of the violations have been accrued since last July. The building is located a block from Brooklyn College in East Flatbush.
In second place for worst landlord and most violations in Brooklyn came 888 E. 96th Street in Canarsie. Owned by Lisa C. Deutsch, the property has a whopping 339 HPD violations, three Department of Buildings complaints and two housing court petitions.
The bronze goes to Mark Rubin’s 1985 Ocean Avenue in Midwood, which has eight Department of Building Complaints, 324 HPD violations and a housing court petition. Notably, however, 1985 has 14 fewer violations this year than it did in 2014.
Intended as a renter resource and public shaming exposé to pressure landlords into attending to their infractions, the list included inaccurate unit counts and even listed absolved landlords who had a good reason for racking up so many violations.
2015 marks the second year that MNS brokerage partner David Behin has been incorrectly listed as one of New York’s worst property owners. Behin purchased Bushwick’s 657 Knickerbocker Avenue in Bushwick through a state program that addresses violation riddled properties by transferring them to responsible owners.
As Behin is currently in the process of addressing the property’s problems, James’s office removed him from 2014’s list and agreed to not include him on this year’s. Yet Behin was listed again in 2015, only removed after an inquiry from Crain’s.
James’s office also blamed incorrect unit numbers on a technical glitch.
[Source: Crain’s | Photo: Wikipedia]