New York City is home to some of the most expensive and opulent apartments in the world. It's also, unfortunately, home to thousands of apartment buildings that are lacking basic amenities and riddled with serious safety deficiencies. Representing some of the worst living conditions throughout the city are those buildings included on the Public Advocate's Office’s recently released annual Landlord Watch List.
Included on this year's list are a total of 6,081 buildings which are located throughout the city's five boroughs and are best described as being slum complexes. The long list of desperately-needed repairs plaguing these buildings include lead contamination, broken toilets, mold, cracked ceilings, leaky roofs and defective and dangerous electrical sockets.
Every New York City resident, regardless of address or amount of monthly rent paid, has the right to expect that a rental unit is safe and free of known hazards and defects. For thousands of tenants throughout the city, their rights are disregarded and ignored as are their multiple complaints and to unscrupulous landlords.
In addition to listing the names and addresses of specific dilapidated buildings, the Landlord Watch List also includes the names of what are deemed to be the most despicable and unresponsive of New York City’s landlords. The list, however, doesn’t even provide a comprehensive list of some of the most egregious violators as many landlords take great care to avoid making the list.
The list has become an important tool for tenants at distressed buildings who are better able to connect with one another and take legal action against negligent landlords. This is especially important in cases where tenants have suffered illnesses due to lead poisoning and black mold or injuries related to electrocutions, smoke inhalation and negligent security.
Source: Gothamist, "Is Your Landlord One Of The Worst In NYC?," Nathan Tempey, Nov. 25, 2015