Brooklyn Boro

City needs to step up enforcement of alleged slumlord, says pol

December 18, 2019 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
Tenants of 250 E 29th St. gathered in the building lobby to demand their landlord, Jason Korn, address their complaints. Photo: Paul Frangipane/Brooklyn Eagle

The city’s worst individual landlord owns 13 buildings in Brooklyn, and a City Council member who represents residents of 250 apartments in four of the worst buildings is calling for the city to take more action. Many of those properties, though, are already enrolled in some of the city’s most aggressive enforcement programs.

Councilmember Farah Louis said the city should take a tougher look at properties owned by Jason Korn, whose 15 buildings across the city together carried a monthly average of 2,877 violations from the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development, according to Public Advocate Jumaane Williams’ Landlord Watchlist released Monday. Louis wants the agency to put Korn’s properties into its Alternative Enforcement Program, which pressures landlords to take immediate action to remedy hazardous conditions.

However, even as Korn jumped from ninth worst landlord in 2018 to the top of the list in 2019, 11 of his 15 buildings in this year were enrolled in either HPD’s Alternative Enforcement Program or its Underlying Conditions Program — two of the agency’s most assertive enforcement tools for correcting a landlord’s bad behavior, the Brooklyn Eagle has learned.

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The landlord’s inclusion on the watchlist doesn’t seem to have shamed him into compliance, Louis said in a statement.

“Year after year, we come back to [the Landlord Watchlist] hoping that this public display of outrage might hold them to account. Instead, they seem to be wearing it as a badge of honor,” Louis said in the statement. “Instead of striving to get off of [the Landlord Watchlist], Jason Korn has moved from 9th place in 2018 to 1st place this year. With the privilege of tax exemptions comes the responsibility of properly managing the upkeep of the buildings that thousands of New Yorkers call home.”

Louis specifically called for more enforcement against four of Korn’s properties in her district, which currently have more open violations than Williams’ calculated as their monthly average:

  • 250 East 29th St. (477 open violations)
  • 1439 Ocean Ave. (258 open violations)
  • 712 East 27th St. (237 open violations)
  • 3402 Avenue I (289 open violations)

The buildings dot the Flatbush-Midwood border. Korn’s nine other Brooklyn buildings are in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens and elsewhere in Central Brooklyn, and he owns two more properties in Manhattan. No one answered multiple phone calls for comment to a number listed for Jason Korn’s properties.

Putting the properties into the HPD’s Alternative Enforcement Program would step up inspections of the property and give the landlord four months to make repairs. If an owner fails to act, the city can then step in to make emergency repairs and bill the landlord.

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The agency selects properties for the program annually, releasing its list in late January. Properties put in the program also need to notify tenants and post signage that provides instructions for filing complaints against the landlord.

Despite Louis’ call, HPD has no discretion about which properties land in the program, HPD spokesperson Matthew Creegan told the Brooklyn EagleAs is written into law, 250 buildings are enrolled each year, determined by the number of hazardous and immediately hazardous maintenance violations and the dollar value of emergency repair charges incurred as a result of work performed by HPD.

250 East 29th Street, owned by Jason Korn, has hundreds of violations. Photo: Google Maps
250 East 29th Street, owned by Jason Korn, has hundreds of violations. Photo: Google Maps

One of the properties on Louis’ list, 1439 Ocean Ave., was in the Alternative Enforcement Program last year. Two other properties, 1616 President St. in Brooklyn, and 192 Nagle Ave. in Manhattan, were also in the program.

All three were discharged from the program in 2019, meaning all immediately hazardous conditions and 80 percent of other serious violations were remedied, among other criteria. They continue to be monitored.

Despite progress within the program, the Ocean Avenue property currently has 261 open HPD violations for issues ranging from mold, collapsed ceilings, blocked fire escapes and lack of hot water, according to the agency’s website. President Street has 42 violations and Nagle Avenue has 114 violations.

That properties enrolled in the Alternative Enforcement Program still found themselves racking up enough violations to make the worst landlord list was concerning to Councilmember Louis, according to a spokesperson.

“If [the Alternative Enforcement Program is] not effective what we’d like to do is explore in different ways the solutions we can implement through legislation,” said Louis’s spokesperson, Kristia Winter. “It’s a good opportunity to explore whether a hearing on the program could happen to see what lapses exist as tenants are in dire need of support.”

Winter said the councilmember, who is a member of the council’s Housing Committee, would see if there are improvements in Alternative Enforcement Program properties next year. If not, Louis will work with the chair, Councilmember Robert Cornegy, to look more deeply at the program.

“It’s an opportunity to make the quality of life better, and we have an expectation that these programs work and if they’re not working we have to fix that,” Winter said.

Violations can continue to mount at buildings even while they are in the Alternative Enforcement Program, as some of the properties have long-standing and complicated issues that take time to remedy, HPD spokesperson Creegan told the Brooklyn Eagle.

Through the Alternative Enforcement Program, the agency makes emergency repairs to ensure the immediate safety of residents — but it doesn’t renovate a property.

“It’s more like a babysitting program where tenants have a direct connection to HPD,” he said. “It’s a huge enforcement tool for owners and it’s very expensive for owners to be in this program — paying repairs, fees, and such — it’s in the owner’s best interest to get out of the program and we put them on track to be out.”

Looking at the current number of violations doesn’t create a clear picture of the program’s efficacy, he said, since it doesn’t take into account the severity of the violation or the percentage remedied.

“The Alternative Enforcement Program puts owners under the microscope when they neglect their buildings and endanger their tenants. It’s one of the most powerful tools we have to help get the most distressed buildings in the city back on the right track,” Creegan said.

He added that eight more of Korn’s buildings — all in Brooklyn — were selected in September 2019 for HPD’s Underlying Conditions Program, which targets buildings with a high number of units suffering mold or leak violations. Only about 50 buildings are put in the program each year, and landlords who fail to make corrections can be put into Alternative Enforcement.

All together, that means 11 of Korn’s 15 buildings are in two of HPD’s programs that target the severest of conditions.

Korn’s property with the most HPD violations, 250 East 29th St., was the last stop on Public Advocate Williams’ press tour on Monday that coincided with the release of the 2019 Landlord Watchlist. That building was enrolled in the Underlying Conditions Program in September.

Megan Adams, in apartment 4E, complains of lack of heat, mold and mice in her apartment. Photo: Paul Frangipane/Brooklyn Eagle
Megan Adams of 250 East 29th St. complains of lack of heat, mold and mice in her apartment, which is owned by the city’s worst landlord. Photo: Paul Frangipane/Brooklyn Eagle

Resident Megan Adams, 65, said she’s been living under horrendous conditions for about 16 years. In January her bathroom ceiling collapsed from water damage and the heat is frequently shut off, she said.

“When you call they office they say, ‘Oh, we’re going to try to do our best,’ like we are begging them,” she said. “It’s like we are nobody in here.”

A full list of Korn’s properties, and all properties owned by the 10 worst landlords on the public advocate’s list, search the table below.

LandlordAddressZip CodeCorporationUnitsHPD ViolationsDOB ViolationsEvictionsBorough
Jason Korn250 East 29 Street11226250-251 E. 29 Realty LLC8133750Brooklyn
Jason Korn55 Winthrop Street1122555 Winthrop Street LLC7633482Brooklyn
Jason Korn200 Nagle Avenue10034One Nine Deuce Associates LLC4928120Manhattan
Jason Korn1311 Avenue K112301311 Avenue K Realty LLC3825330Brooklyn
Jason Korn1439 Ocean Avenue112301439 Realty LLC7220681Brooklyn
Jason Korn712 East 27th Street11210712 Realty LLC5918340Brooklyn
Jason Korn1435 Carroll Street112131429 Carroll Street LLC2717900Brooklyn
Jason Korn776 Crown Street11213776 Crown St Realty LLC4616524Brooklyn
Jason Korn192 Nagle Avenue10034One Nine Deuce Associates LLC4916320Manhattan
Jason Korn1690 President Street112131690 President Street3915721Brooklyn
Jason Korn3402 Avenue I112103402 Realty LLC3814920Brooklyn
Jason Korn100 Linden Boulevard11226100 Linden Realty LLC4114530Brooklyn
Jason Korn271 Parkside Avenue11226271 Parkside Ave Realty LLC2412600Brooklyn
Jason Korn1616 President Street112131616 President St LLC2510100Brooklyn
Jason Korn209 East 16 Street11226209 Realty LLC399820Brooklyn
Nathaniel Montgomery378 Throop Avenue11221Throop Court LP53278130Brooklyn
Nathaniel Montgomery150 Tompkins Avenue11206Willoughby Tompkins LP2013400Brooklyn
Nathaniel Montgomery399 Kosciuszko Street11221Northeast Brooklyn Partnership1211000Brooklyn
Nathaniel Montgomery749 Lafayette Avenue11221NEB LP810600Brooklyn
Nathaniel Montgomery98 Pulaski Street11206NEB LP69370Brooklyn
Nathaniel Montgomery706 Mac Donough Street11233Broadway Putnam LP49000Brooklyn
Nathaniel Montgomery403 Kosciuszko Street11221Northeast Brooklyn Partnership137900Brooklyn
Nathaniel Montgomery611 Willoughby Avenue11206Willoughby Tompkins LP97800Brooklyn
Nathaniel Montgomery607 Willoughy Avenue11206Willoughby Tompkins LP97001Brooklyn
Nathaniel Montgomery540 Kosciuszko Street11221Hunterfly LP67000Brooklyn
Nathaniel Montgomery22 Stuyvesant Avenue11221Hunterfly LP86300Brooklyn
Nathaniel Montgomery523 Blake Avenue11207HT Jericho LP165620Brooklyn
Nathaniel Montgomery315 Pulaski Street11206Hunterfly LP85002Brooklyn
Nathaniel Montgomery430 New Jersey Avenue11207HT Jericho LP34500Brooklyn
Nathaniel Montgomery375 Kosciuszko Street11221Hunterfly LP43400Brooklyn
Nathaniel Montgomery456 Bradford Street11207HT Jericho LP33400Brooklyn
Nathaniel Montgomery675 Halsey Street11233Northeast Brooklyn Partnership63001Brooklyn
Nathaniel Montgomery1001 Putnam Avenue11221Broadway Putnam LP62120Brooklyn
Nathaniel Montgomery369 Sheffield Avenue11207HT Jericho LP42000Brooklyn
Nathaniel Montgomery428 New Jersey Avenue11207HT Jericho LP32000Brooklyn
Nathaniel Montgomery1438 Broadway11221Broadway Putnam LP3820Brooklyn
Eric Silverstein261 Lenox Road11226Trio Realty Associates LLC12036090Brooklyn
Eric Silverstein250 Parkville Avenue11230250 Parkville Co.6328130Brooklyn
Eric Silverstein2005 Albemarle Road11226625 Ocean Company5426890Brooklyn
Eric Silverstein39-50 59 Street11377Woodside Silver Associates LLC7823530Queens
Abdul Khan1515 Selwyn Avenue10457MK Realty Group LLC47348592Bronx
Abdul Khan1242 Morris Avenue104561242 Superior Apartments LLC1212790Bronx
Abdul Khan374 East 209 Street10467374 Superior Apartments LLC2712401Bronx
Abdul Khan2250 Grand Concourse104572250 Superior Apartments2212200Bronx
Abdul Khan1201 Dr. Martin L. King Jr Boulevard104521201 MK Realty Group LLC3810780Bronx
Abdul Khan3102 Villa Avenue10468Superior Apartments LLC2393140Bronx
Abdul Khan711 East 183 Street10458711 MK Realty Group LLC88820Bronx
Abdul Khan685 East 234 Street10466685 MK Realty Group677100Bronx
Abdul Khan683 East 234 Street10466683 E 234 St Holdings LLC64920Bronx
Chris DeAngelis476 Columbus Avenue10024476 Columbus Avenue LLC1216230Manhattan
Chris DeAngelis324 West 43 Street10036Triarch Management2010300Manhattan
Chris DeAngelis964 Amsterdam Avenue10025964 MV I LLC2310070Manhattan
Chris DeAngelis1471 St Nicholas Avenue10033602 West 184th Street LLC199600Manhattan
Chris DeAngelis353 West 51 Street10019353 West 51st Street LLC178000Manhattan
Chris DeAngelis472 Columbus Avenue10024472 Columbus Avenue LLC126811Manhattan
Chris DeAngelis10 Westminster Road1121810 Westminster Road, LLC216722Brooklyn
Chris DeAngelis734 Amsterdam Avenue10025200 West 96th Street86130Manhattan
Chris DeAngelis1245 Halsey Street112371245 Halsey Street86020Brooklyn
Chris DeAngelis748 9 Avenue10019748 9th Avenue LLC135700Manhattan
Chris DeAngelis1851 Putnam Avenue11385791 Onkerdonk Avenue LLC75000Queens
Chris DeAngelis1726 Woodbine Street113851726 Woodbine Portfolio LLC63900Queens
Chris DeAngelis1889 Cornelia Street1138518-89 Cornelia Street LLC63500Queens
RIchard Nussbaum495 West 186th Street10033Nussbaum Associates Company LLC60442100Manhattan
RIchard Nussbaum99 Marble Hill Avenue10463Nussbaum Realty Company LLC56441131Manhattan
Joseph Soleimani524 West 173rd Street10032173 Heights LLC1513400Manhattan
Joseph Soleimani169 East 105th Street10029ABJ 105 LLC1110560Manhattan
Joseph Soleimani2605 Marion Avenue10458SCG 2605 LLC258900Bronx
Joseph Soleimani506 West 173rd Street10032173 Heights LLC208100Manhattan
Joseph Soleimani526 West 173rd Street10032173 Heights LLC157950Manhattan
Joseph Soleimani90 East 18th Street11226Brooklyn Park Terrace LLC197130Brooklyn
Joseph Soleimani2601 Marion Avenue10458SCG 311 LLC116700Bronx
Joseph Soleimani340 East 139th Street10454ABJ 340 LLC105100Bronx
Joseph Soleimani301 East 193rd Street10458SCG 301 LLC114410Bronx
Joseph Soleimani2322 Bedford Avenue11226Brooklyn Park Terrace LLC64200Brooklyn
Joseph Soleimani1224 Franklin Avenue10456Claremont Homes LLC134000Bronx
Joseph Soleimani612 East 168th Street10456Claremont Homes LLC93500Bronx
Joseph Soleimani369 East 21st Street11226Brooklyn Park Terrace LLC52100Brooklyn
Nathan Silverstein90 Pinehurst Avenue1003390 Pinehurst LLC4925940Manhattan
Nathan Silverstein9 Cabrini Boulevard10033Cabrini Blockfront LLC3524030Manhattan
Nathan Silverstein5 Cabrini Boulevard10033Cabrini Blockfront LLC3418820Manhattan
Nathan Silverstein1 Cabrinie Boulevard10033Cabrini Block Front LLC3415020Manhattan
William Lucas1593 Fulton Street11213Risley Dent Towers Association248819160Brooklyn
William Lucas529A Gates Avenue11216Gates Cluster Development, LP41000Brooklyn
Michael Lazaroff100 Belmont Place10301[Not Listed]56458142Staten Island
Michael Lazaroff101 Daniel Low Terrace10301[Not Listed]5634170Staten Island

 


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