Landlords occupy a rarefied position in American society, alongside lawyers, street canvassers and lousy journalists, in that the public always seems to think they are categorically a terrible class of humans. Everyone thinks their landlord is the worst, and many of them are, as they seem to be dedicated to squeezing every penny out of potential tenants without a whiff of concern for civic pride or maintaining a livable city. But is your landlord actually the worst? Here’s your chance to find out: Public Advocate Letitia James released the annual list of 100 worst landlords today and for the first time, the list includes Department of Building violations and Department of Finance data on tax liens. Ooh I can’t wait, it’s like the most depressing award show of all time (except for the Grammys).
So if you found your landlord on the list, what can you do with that info? Not much! The list is informational, designed to “hold the city’s worst landlords accountable and to empower tenants and advocates,” according to the Public Advocate’s website. For the first time, James’s office visited at least one building owned by the landlords, speaking to tenants, taking photos and doing their own inspections. You can sort the list by map, borough, buildings or specific landlords.
Consider the list a tool for which landlords/buildings to watch out for and a rallying point to help organize against landlords who have a dire lack of scruples. At least one of these jamokes isn’t your landlord.
Apartments free of mold, vermin, rodents &harassment aren't luxuries. These are basic rights that no tenant should be denied #WorstLandlords
— NYC Public Advocate (@NYCPA) October 13, 2016