Worst individual landlord in NYC

Public Advocate, Jumaane Williams joins Council Member Farah Louis (right) and tenant leader Sabrina Pierre (center) in Brooklyn to tour a building listed on the 2019 Worst Landlords List.
Office of Public Advocate Jumaane Williams

Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams on Monday concluded a citywide tour of buildings named on his 2019 Worst Landlords List by visiting a Brooklyn site owned by the newly-named number one worst individual landlord in New York City.

Williams said Jason Korn tops the Worst Landlords Watchlist of 2019.

He said Korn oversees 16 properties on the list, with over 700 combined units and nearly 3,000 Housing Preservation Department (HPD) violations.

Williams said Korn ranked ninth on the Worst Landlords Watchlist in 2018, rising to the top spot this year alongside the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA).

Among the HPD Class C Violations on Korn’s properties, the most severe category of violations, include lead paint exposure, rodent infestation, mold, electrical failures, heat and hot water failures, among others, Williams said.

He said these violations are considered “immediately hazardous.”

“Jason Korn made the top 10 on last year’s list, and, in the time since, conditions on his properties have only gotten worse,” the Public Advocate said. “He’s earned his spot at number one this year through his disregard for the safety, security, and well-being of his tenants.

“He’s not alone in these offenses, but he represents the prime example of a system where landlords place profit over people,” he added. “And the people are going to fight back.”

Williams said he toured several apartments with Council Member Farah Louis, representative for the 45th Council District in Brooklyn, at 250 E. 29th Street in Flatbush, a property which was cited for 337 HPD violations across 81 units.

Margerita Dominquez, a longtime resident, spoke about the damage in her apartment stemming from moisture and mold, with parts of the ceiling on the brink of collapse, Williams said.

He said other tenants in the building spoke about rodent issues and prolonged periods without heat throughout the building, “issues which are pervasive across many buildings featured on this year’s list.”

According to the 2019 Worst Landlords List, buildings with the greatest concentration of hazardous violations in the Brooklyn include: 1593 Fulton Street (819 HPD Open Violations on Average Per Month); 245 Sullivan Place (441 HPD Open Violations on Average Per Month); 381 Vernon Avenue (429 HPD Open Violations on Average Per Month); 568 Lincoln Avenue (392 HPD Open Violations on Average Per Month); and 261 Lenox Road (360 HPD Open Violations on Average Per Month).

Williams said advocates from Flatbush Tenant Coalition joined him and Louis following the tour and emphasized the need for tenants to organize in order to take on bad landlords like Korn.

The Public Advocate, who was a tenant organizer in Brooklyn before entering elected office, announced that his office would be pursuing both legislative and community organizing-based methods of holding the worst landlords accountable and working for housing justice.

Williams said his annual Landlord Watchlist is “an information-sharing tool intended to allow tenants, public officials, advocates and other concerned individuals to identify which residential property owners consistently flout the City’s laws intended to protect the rights and safety of tenants.”

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