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City's 100 worst landlords identified on 2016 watchlist

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The Public Advocate’s annual list identifies the landlords with the most violations and complaints across the city

Harry Silverstein who owns eight buildings in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens has topped the infamous annual list of the 100 Worst Landlords in New York City. Released and put together by Public Advocate Letitia James’s office, the list looks at the landlords who have accrued the most number of violations relative to the total buildings they own. The information, which is available in an interactive database, is compiled by looking at data from the city’s Department of Buildings (DOB), and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).

Silverstein has amassed a staggering 2,032 HPD violations and 50 DOB violations at his eight properties which comprise of 575 apartments. Three landlords featured amongst the top five on the list have now been there for five consecutive years, according to NBC New York.

"Every New Yorker deserves a safe and decent place to live, and every apartment must meet basic standards of decency," James said in a statement. "The Landlord Watchlist has become a critical tool for helping tenants organize against unscrupulous landlords, has assisted with the criminal convictions of some of New York’s worst landlords, and has led to better living conditions for countless New Yorkers. We will never stop fighting for the housing rights of every New Yorker."

The watchlist was created in 2010 by current Mayor Bill de Blasio while he was the city’s Public Advocate. Changes to the list this year include the fact that it relied on DOB violations as opposed to complaints. Only multi-family rental buildings are part of this list, and buildings with less than three apartments are not selected. Co-ops and condos are also excluded from the list.

In some positive news, there seems be an indication that these annual lists are at least affecting some change. Seven landlords in the top 10 list are no longer on it, and three of them are off the list completely.