Public Advocate James names NYC’s 100 Worst Landlords

Outside of 919 Prospect Avenue, named the worst building in the Bronx
Photo Courtesy of Robert Christie

The annual 100 Worst Landlords list, released by Public Advocate Letitia James’ office, includes many landlord’s who own properties in the Bronx.

In addition, the 20 worst buildings in the Bronx was also highlighted.

“Every New Yorker deserves a safe and decent place to live, and every apartment must meet basic standards of decency,” said James.

The list cites the landlord’s name in addition to how many units they own and how many open violations they have from the NYC Housing Preservation and Development department and the NYC Department of Buildings.

The five worst NYC landlords according to the list include – 1. Harry Silverstein (575 units in eight buildings in the city with 2032 HPD and 50 DOB violations), 2. Allan Goldman (187 units in 25 buildings with 1193 HPD violations and 15 DOB violations), 3. Efstathios Valiotis (237 units in eight buildings with 1077 HPD violations and 64 DOB violations), 4. Martin Kirzner (280 units in 11 buildings with 1036 HPD violations and 23 DOB violations), 5. Ved Parkash (257 units in four buildings with 992 HPD violations and five DOB violations).

Topping the list of the 20 worst buildings in the Bronx was 919 Prospect Avenue.

“The conditions we saw at 919 Prospect Avenue are inhumane and unacceptable,” said the public advocate. “No person should be subjected to this type of environment.”

According to the DOB Building Information database, there are 49 violations on file for 919 Prospect Avenue including seven that are still open.

An ongoing violation in the building is a failure to pass the annual boiler inspection.

In addition, the building has had multiple failed elevator inspections and multiple instances in which the elevator is not working.

The Prospect property also has 508 HPD open violations.

The five worst buildings in the Bronx are rounded out by 1164 Cromwell Avenue (514 HPD violations and three DOB violations), 1892 Morris Avenue (444 HPD Violations and 22 DOB violations), 2201 Davidson Avenue (342 HPD violations and 17 DOB violations), and 2709 Heath Avenue (346 HPD violations and seven DOB violations).

Benjamin Dulchin, executive director of the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, Inc., suggested the landlords who land on this list aren’t simply making mistakes.

“The landlords on the Worst Landlord Watchlist don’t usually make the list because of sloppy management practices or by accident,” said Dulchin. “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.”

Valiotis, number 3 on the worst landlords list, released a statement combating his placement on the list.

He said he was “disappointed to be on the list and suggested the public advocate’s office does not “accurately reflect the current” conditions of his buildings.

Valiotis, who owns the property at 649 E. 183rd Street in the Bronx, said HPD is constantly updating their open violations.

He added he was “committed to working with anyone to continue to improve all outstanding building conditions and provide safe and quality housing to all tenants.”

Reach Reporter Robert Christie at (718) 260-4591. E-mail him at rchristie@cnglocal.com.

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