Brooklyn Boro

Public Advocate report shows Brooklyn landlords among the worst in NYC

November 25, 2015 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
This map shows some of the worst buildings in Brooklyn. The orange dots mark buildings with the highest number of violations; the purple dots mark buildings managed by landlords with the word records in New York City. Hundreds of other buildings are also on the Public Advocate’s Watchlist. Map courtesy of the Public Advocate’s Office
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The city’s annual Worst Landlords Watchlist is out, and Brooklyn is well represented on this annual walk of shame compiled by the Public Advocate’s Office.

This year, roughly 200 buildings in Brooklyn made the list. The building with the most complaints, 855 East 19th St. in Midwood has racked up 491 violations with NYC Housing, Preservation and Development (HPD) and the city’s Department of Buildings (DOB).

Since cold weather set in, complaints from tenants have poured in about the lack of heat. Other problems include spreading damp spots, leaks and mold, toilets lacking water, peeling plaster and broken tiles. Tenants called the city all last winter about the lack of heat as well.

On top of that, some tenants have no gas. A complaint filed with DOB states, “National Grid has cut off gas because pipe is defective. Landlord is not fixing the pipe.” An associated filing notes that “inspector could not gain access.” Another resident worries about an “inadequate sprinkler system.”

The building, where complaints have risen sharply this year, is operated by Flatbush Builders; Peter Kraus is the company’s head officer.

An employee of Flatbush Builders told the Brooklyn Eagle that the company had “absolutely no comment” on the report.

Conditions at 1985 Ocean Ave. in Midwood are also abysmal, according to filings with HPD and DOB. The entire building has no heat. Tenants have complained to HPD about broken pipes and faucets, brown water, collapsing ceilings, defective cabinets, broken doors and locks, mold, bed bugs, cockroaches, mice, and leaking pipes and toilet bowls. Raw sewage accumulates in the yard and there are illegal taps on the electrical wiring, they say.

One caller complained to DOB that the elevator was “going really fast” from the top floor to the first. The caller felt “it will completely fall to the bottom,” the inspector wrote in the city’s report.

According to the Watchlist, this building has racked up 332 violations. It is operated by Rubin 1985 LLC; Mark Rubin is listed as the company’s head officer. On the bright side, complaints, which peaked in 2014, have gone down here slightly this year, the public advocate noted.

“Every tenant deserves to live in safety and security and every apartment needs to meet basic standards of decency,” Public Advocate Letitia James said in a statement on Monday. “This Watchlist identifies the landlords in our city who are neglecting and harassing tenants, and puts them on notice. We will not tolerate this type of behavior in New York City.”

For the Watchlist, James’ office sorts through data from HPD and DOB to identify the landlords and buildings with the worst records. The 100 landlords with the most open violations and complaints are included on the list of “100 Worst Landlords in New York City.”

The worst landlord in the city, according to the PA’s office, is Ved Parkash, who oversees 7,200 units in 11 buildings, mostly in the Bronx. These units have garnered 2,369 violations.

The second-worse is Harry D. Silverstein, who rents out 408 units in seven buildings — four of them in Central Brooklyn.  Silverstein’s buildings have collected 1,482 violations.

Yechiel Weinberger, who oversees 316 units in 11 buildings, all but two in Brooklyn, is the city’s third worst landlord, with 1,392 violations.

The Watchlist was launched by former public advocate Bill de Blasio. James said she has seen some improvements in the city’s buildings from previous year’s list.

To see how your landlord rates, visit


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