Roommates + Landlords

The Landlord Watchlist is out: is yours one of the city's worst?

By Jennifer Laing  | October 8, 2014 - 2:08PM

There are crummy landlords and then there are those that are so bad, they're awarded the dubious distinction of a spot on Public Advocate Letitia James’ Landlord Watchlist, a catalog of building owners with the worst violation records (think lack of heat and hot water, inadequate fire exits, rodents, etc.) in New York City.

The Village Voice has a ranking of the five worst offenders, based on number of violations, and you can browse the full list here. (Bonus: the Watchlist website is also a great resource for information on tenants' rights and landlords' responsibilities.)

Better yet, avoid getting into a bad landlord situation altogether by doing your due diligence before signing a lease:

  • You can start by checking out a landlord or management company’s social media profiles. Just the fact that a landlord is tweeting is an indication that they take the job seriously. 
  • Next, search StreetEasy forums or Yelp for positive and negative discussions and reviews. (This is particularly useful for larger management companies, as opposed to mom-and-pop building owners.)​​
  • Do a search of potential violations at your future building at the Department of Building’s free database.
  • Check out the history of any bug infestations at the Bed Bug Registry
  • And, if possible, poll your prospective neighbors. No one has a better take on the quality of a landlord than those who already live in a building.


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