Oh, you know how Bushwick is so cool and hot at the same time that it regularly gets mentioned at all sorts of lists like the recent Vogue’s list of the coolest neighborhoods in the world? So today Bushwick made another list — albeit a less flattering one — 2015 Worst Landlord List.
The list of 100 worst landlords in the city is part of the The Worst Landlord Watchlist, released today from the initiative of Public Advocate Letitia James. The Watchlist is an online information sharing tool and a map, which lists the most notorious NYC landlords. Listed are buildings and property owners that consistently flout the City’s laws intended to protect the rights and safety of tenants. The Watchlists incorporates and evaluates data obtained from Department of Buildings (DOB) and data from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). For a building to be included on the Watchlist, it must be a rental building and have a certain minimum threshold of open violations or open complaints per unit (such as at least three violations or open complaints per unit in a building of 35 units or less).
Unfortunately, it comes as a little surprise that numerous Bushwick landlords and buildings have made the list of notorious violators. (Special shout-out goes to Abe Lebland LLC with its head officer Joel Kohn who own numerous 19 buildings throughout Bushwick and East Williamsburg and are so far totalling on 753 violations.)
The Watchlist allows users to search per address of location or simply to browse through seemingly endless list of bad landlords.
While the inclusion in the list doesn’t mean any extra punishment for the landlords (they are already sanctioned for each individual complaints and violations), the aggregation of the data can be a powerful tool in publicly shaming the landlords into a better behaviour. Provided that they have some shame left.
“Every New Yorker deserves to live in safety and security, and every apartment needs to meet basic standards of decency,” said Ms. James. “Unfortunately, unscrupulous landlords throughout our City are failing to uphold these basic rights – creating inhumane living conditions for tenants. The Worst Landlords Watchlist puts these bad actors on notice, and is a vital resource and tool for tenants.”
PA James is hosting a tenants rights rally today from 11AM at Foley Square and at 2pm she will be touring 308 Harman Street building in Bushwick.