It’s an annually recurring event in New York City around this time each year, announced with a bit of fanfare and always including some enlightening details.
It’s New York City’s Worst Landlords Watchlist.
Obviously, that’s not something any individual would want to be on, but there it is: NYC has some enduringly problematic residential building owners and managers who city officials think merit a spotlight all their own.
And so they get one in the form of the list. One media report on this year’s compilation states that the annual rollout “is an ongoing effort to protect tenants from predatory and negligent landlords across the city.”
Clearly, there are a lot of those. Indeed, our firm’s blog at the established tenants’ rights law firm of Himmelstein, McConnell, Gribben, Donoghue & Joseph, LLP, in Manhattan, regularly spotlights some of their bad-faith behavior and clear violations of renters’ rights in our posts.
The list is authored each year under the oversight of the city’s Public Advocate. Letitia James, who currently serves in that role, says that the compilation puts problem landlords on notice, while simultaneously empowering tenants.
James concedes that it is a continuing struggle waging battle against high numbers of landlords who accumulate housing violations. She says that publicizing names and bad conduct is part of the process to make problem actors “comply with the law and the codes of the city.”
More effective, to be sure, is a tenant’s proactive engagement with a proven law firm that routinely works on behalf of individuals and families all across the city (apartment renters, co-op shareholders, condo unit owners, tenant associations and additional parties) needing strong and timely assistance in housing disputes.
In a perfect world, there would obviously be no need for a list setting forth the names of scores of landlords with demonstrated histories chronicling purposeful attempts to violate renters’ rights, health and safety.
Until such a day arrives, though, NYC’s Worst Landlords Watchlist will continue serving its purpose.
We wish all our readers a happy Thanksgiving holiday.