For the fourth year in a row, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) topped the City Public Advocate’s annual Worst Landlord Watchlist, according to Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.
The list spotlights the most egregiously negligent landlords in the city as determined by their number of average open violations across watchlist buildings.
“While the top name on our list is new, the patterns of neglect and abuse by bad landlords are all too familiar,” said Williams. “With a new administration about to take office, it’s critical that we take expanded, expedited action to hold the worst actors in our city accountable. The city needs to invest the resources needed to stop landlords from treating violations as negligible, fines as the cost of doing business, and profits as more valuable than the people living in their buildings.
“At the same time, the city itself is truly the worst landlord through NYCHA — with more open work orders now than eight years ago — and must take urgent action to address years of failing to adequately invest in or support the nearly half a million New Yorkers living there,” he added.
As of November 2021, there were 600,480 open work orders in NYCHA buildings across the city, an increase of over 121,600 from the previous year. The de Blasio administration will end with a significantly greater number of open orders than when it began in January of 2013, when NYCHA reported a backlog of over 420,000 work orders citywide.
The number one worst individual landlord for 2021 is David Schorr, who amassed an average 1,442 open violations across 17 buildings featured on the watchlist. Schorr ranked #75 on the 2020 list.
Schorr’s buildings featured on the list, which are primarily located in Harlem and Morningside Heights, have severe open violations including rat and roach infestation, mold, leaks, and lead paint, among other issues.
In announcing the list, Williams emphasized the need for the incoming Adams administration to allocate the resources needed to crack down on the city’s worst landlords, including NYCHA. This includes providing expanded funding to the City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD)HPD for enforcement purposes.
Williams also called on the incoming City Council to move swiftly to pass the Worst Landlord Accountability Act, a package of bills aimed at correcting and preventing disingenuous tactics used by some of those landlords in order to attempt to remove themselves from the list.
The first would prevent the city’s worst landlords from falsely self-certifying repairs, and the second would mandate that HPD respond more rapidly to severe violations. The Public Advocate emphasized that the measures must be prioritized in the upcoming legislative agenda for the Council.
View the full Worst Landlord Watchlist, and check to see if your address is owned by a 2021 worst landlord, by visiting LandlordWatchlist.com.