NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Public Advocate Bill de Blasio is shining light on some of the worst landlords in New York City in hopes that they’ll clean up their act.
There are now 330 landlords and 360 buildings on the city’s Worst Landlord Watch List. Problems at the buildings range from lack of heat or hot water to lead paint, toxic mold and broken plumbing.
1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports
LINK: NYC’s Worst Landlords
At the top of the list is College Management in the Bronx, owned by Eli Abbott, which has 724 hazardous violations in three buildings on College Avenue.
“We’re dealing with rats, there’s water leaks all over the place, it’s always filthy,” Angel Caballero, who has lived at 1265 College Ave. for more than 55 years, told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg. “We’re living like animals.”
Caballero said you can’t go into the basement at night because the rats are “all over the place” and the landlord has done nothing to fix the problem.
“He doesn’t care,” Caballero said.
Other residents agree.
“The living conditions are horrible, the bathrooms are falling apart and he says that he’s fixing stuff but he’s not really doing anything,” one man said. “He’s just a horrible landlord.”
College Avenue residents are very worried about electrical shorts and fires because so many of the water leaks are near junction boxes and light fixtures.
“We fed up, we’re really tired. The conditions we live in, it’s not worth it,” tenant Jose Marquez told CBS 2’s Tony Aiello.
Tenants are fighting back in court, asking a judge to — in essence — evict the owner and give control of the buildings to a court-appointed administrator. They say it is a desperate measure warranted by desperate conditions.
Building owner Abbott did not return calls from CBS 2 seeking comment and he’s due in court to face off with the tenants on Tuesday.
Each borough has a top offender — 1071 Home Corp in Manhattan (649 violations), Allen Affordable in Queens (282 violations) and Maristanc Corp in Brooklyn (649 violations) — except for Staten Island, where no landlord had enough violations to make the list.
More than 250 buildings have been removed from the list after fixing violations including lead paint, infestations and mold.
“It takes years of neglect for a building to deteriorate to the point where it ends up on our Watch List,” de Blasio said. “But with enough public pressure and strong tenant organizing, we can turn these buildings around and make life better for thousands of New Yorkers.”
De Blasio started the watch list in 2010. It has been viewed more than 400,000 times since its launch.
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