New Map Lists City’s Worst Landlords, With Only A Handful In Southern Brooklyn


Worst buildings in NYC 2016. (Screenshot via Google Maps)

Yesterday Public Advocate Letitia James released the latest interactive map of the 100 worst landlords in New York City and 20 worst buildings, based on data from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the Department of Buildings (DOB).

The Watchlist, started by then-Public Advocate Bill de Blasio in 2010 and updated quarterly, is designed to hold the city’s worst landlords accountable and to empower tenants and advocates, according to James.

You can check out the most recent 2016 Landlords Watchlist by building and neighborhood on a map here, and the landlord list version here.

The Public Advocate’s office states that the Watchlist includes more details this year on DOB violations and Department of Finance (DOF) tax liens — which can be a sign of buildings in distress. The Public Advocate’s office visited at least one building owned by each of the 100 worst landlords to speak to tenants, take photos, and inspect conditions.

“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,” said Public Advocate Letitia James.

Southern Brooklyn landlords and buildings:

Southern Brooklyn had impressively few landlords make the list, with only three mapped addresses in the Bean’s coverage zones: 4219 15 Avenue in Borough Park, 8757 Bay 16 Street in Bath Beach, and 8224 Bay Parkway in Bensonhurst.

This makes for a stark contrast to the rest of Brooklyn, especially the eastern and central portions, and Flatbush, which are pockmarked with bad landlords, according to the map.

Criteria and methodology:

According to the Public Advocate, for a landlord to be added to the Watchlist, they must own a building with a minimum number of HPD violations or open DOB complaints per unit. For buildings with fewer than 35 units, there must be an average of at least three open, serious violations or active complaints per unit. For larger buildings with 35 units or more, there must be an average of at least two open, serious violations or active complaints per unit.

For buildings to be eligible for the Watchlist, they must be multi-family rental buildings with three or more units. Co-ops and condominiums are excluded. Read more about the Watchlist methodology here.

“The landlords on the Worst Landlord Watchlist don’t usually make the list because of sloppy management practices or by accident,” said Benjamin Dulchin, Executive Director of Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, Inc. “They make the list because too often they have a strategy to intentionally push tenants out of their affordable apartments in order to drive the rents up quickly.”

However, in 2015 Crain’s New York noted that the Watchlist contained mistakes. For example, in 2014 the list included David Behin, who was upgrading a troubled building he had purchased through a state program. Behin appeared again in the 2015 Watchlist, and was subsequently removed after an inquiry from Crain’s, reports the business news outlet.

For the release of the most recent Watchlist, members of the Flatbush Tenant Coalition stood with PA Letitia James, City Council Member Jumaane Williams and others in Foley Square, demanding more landlord accountability.

Public Advocate Letisha James & City Council Member Jumaane Williams. (Photo by Flatbush Tenant Coalition / Facebook)

Public Advocate Letitia James & City Council Member Jumaane Williams. (Photo by Flatbush Tenant Coalition / Facebook)

To report bad building conditions, call 311, or visit the HPD website. If conditions don’t improve, contact the Public Advocate’s Office at [email protected]. Read more tenant FAQs here, and learn more about tenant associations on the Flatbush Tenant Coalition website.

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  • JEng

    I don’t know if progres will remove my post so here it is again:

    I was just thinking that at least this mayor hasn’t been involved in dirty money and then I remembered he did something really dangerous when he was Public Advocate – he demanded to know the shareholders of property – and that’s something that is done in predatory litigation to get your private files and find out something that could expose you in the future – they need to know who to sue personally and touch that real estate with your own public paperwork to establish ownership so it can be sued for.

    And when I saw the recent proposal by Ritchie Torres and Jumaane Williams which echoes the new requirement in RPIE – where they ask you what your reserve is – so they know how vulnerable your building would be to sabotage – I thought wow that sounds like OC.

    But traditionally, OC in NYC hasn’t been that brazen – and why would they trust Jumaane Williams to spearhead it – and a lot of things that this City Council does usually through Melissa Mark Viveritos looks pro OC – but pro NEW simpler OC with a lot of drug money.

    And I just realized it a few minutes ago – Stringer Bell – that’s the kind of OC that would want to own everything – because you have so much money – but you need to know how to GET those particular buidlings.

    And then it explained to me why Leticia James was so indifferent and openly cruel or her office was anyway – how we are still overtaxed more than triple a neighboring more profitable building and how they altered the assessment to activate foreclosure and how they are okay with it – because DOF is not about rule of law and everybody is in on it and DOI was specifically told that the issue is not missing that too short deadline to argue when traditionally Chinatown buidlings aren’t that lucky with certiorari – but because it’s not appropriate to tax the same kinds of buildings DIFFERENTLY and there is no way to audit the process.

    So that’s because the NYC government in control now is openly writing laws in its city council for moneyed backers.

    There is no way that NYC real estate is okay with answering that question about the reserve but the little ones won’t speak and the big ones can just place a reserve that is enough to make the predators sponsoring the city council to go away.

    I cannot believe that local young OC would be so open in government and press about being inspired by The Wire. No one called Melissa Mark Viveritos on basically trying to turn NYC into Hamsterdam with her drug rules and arrest rules and bail rules.

    And NYPD doesn’t care, press doesn’t care, Preet Bharara has no problem with that.


    Because they took away our building, I’ll always care. I only came back from Beijing leaving my favorite stuff there expecting to be back in two weeks after reinforcing my mother so she could get that lease renewal signed with Pho Bang. I never IMAGINED how unwillingly I would learn how g-d- dirty NYC is.