The public advocate’s tradition of releasing the annual Worst Landlord Watchlist continues. Public Advocate Jumaane Williams published this list of landlords for 2022 the last week of December.
However, a few weeks prior Williams sent out a press release to bring attention to his bill to combat worst practices by landlords. Intro 583 was given a NYC Council hearing on December 6, the bill is a part of the Worst Landlord Accountability Act which is aimed at correcting and preventing disingenuous tactics used by some of those landlords in order to attempt to remove themselves from the list.
“In putting together the Worst Landlord Watchlist, we found far too many instances of landlords failing to live up to their most basic responsibilities of being a steward for the housing of renters who call New York home,” said Public Advocate Williams of the legislation. “In case after case, violation after unchecked violation, bad actors demonstrated an inability or an unwillingness to live up to their end of the bargain – and it’s past time to put in place meaningful reforms to not just call out these actions, but to put a stop to them. This legislation is about preventing landlords from evading accountability and protecting their tenants from conditions which are physically unsafe or otherwise insecure.”
Within the current system, landlords are often able to self-certify their own repairs without city verification. Under the Public Advocate’s legislation heard today, Intro 583, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development would be required to maintain a certification of correction list and prohibit any listed landlord from certifying correction of violations in multiple dwellings without an inspection. This would prevent landlords already identified as bad actors from falsely claiming repairs have been made.
The bill would also increase penalties for failure to correctly certify. A landlord who fails to file a statement of registration or an amendment of a statement of registration will have to pay a fine of anywhere between $500 and $1,000. Anyone willfully making a false certification of correction of a violation will have to pay between $500 and $2,500 for each violation false
The Worst Landlord Watchlist makes no distinction between buildings that are vacant or occupied. Vacant buildings are not excluded from the watchlist. Brooklyn had the largest number of buildings on the watchlist and North Brooklyn has four: 220 Franklin Street, 11222; 191 Bedford Avenue, 11211; 86 Bushwick Avenue, 11211; and 378 Hooper Street, 11211.
To view more on this year’s Worst Landlord Watchlist visit: https://www.landlordwatchlist.com/landlords