BY NATHAN DUKE
Public Advocate Letitia James ranked two city landlords with properties in Ridgewood among the city’s 10 worst in her annual Worst Landlords Watchlist, which was released on Tuesday.
James’ list is a database that ranks the worst landlords in the city based on monthly updates of open violations. Silvershore Properties’ Jonathan Cohen—who owns a property at 17-08 Summerfield St. in Ridgewood, which has a total of 116 violations—was ranked as the city’s worst, while Meir Fried—who owns a property at 16-45 Summerfield St. in Ridgewood, which has a total of 28 violations—came in at number eight. Both landlords primarily own buildings in Brooklyn.
Queens properties with the most violations included Hillside House Management Co.’s site at 87-40 165th St. in Jamaica—which ranked first and had 383 violations—and Nada Gracin’s property at 150-15 Sanford Ave. in Flushing, which had 244 violations.
“No New Yorker should be subjected to live in a hazardous home, yet bad landlords in our city are forcing too many tenants to live in dangerous and indecent conditions,” James said. “The Worst Landlords Watchlist is a powerful tool to put these unscrupulous landlords on notice and gives tenants the tools to hold them accountable. We will continue to identify the worst abusers of tenants and take on practices that deny working families a chance to simply live in safe, decent housing.”
In a statement, Silvershore Properties said that violations at its buildings were the result of previous owners and are being addressed.
“Nineteen buildings that Silvershore recently purchased were listed as having an average of a large number of open violations in 2017,” the statement read. “A majority of the properties have been purchased from long-term owners who have neglected the properties and many of the problems causing the violations were inherited at our purchase. We have done a tremendous amount of work in these properties and expect the number of violations to be reduced significantly once the HPD dismissal inspections are scheduled this month. We have been extremely proactive about addressing any issues in each of the buildings. The violations cannot be removed until there is an inspection—a majority of the work has been completed and we are awaiting an inspection date.”
The list was founded by Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2010—when he was the city’s public advocate—and scores each landlord based on 12 different data points collected over the course of a year. The status of buildings is updated every month to reflect changes in open violations.
For a landlord to be added to the list, they must own a building with a minimum threshold of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) violations per unit. For buildings with fewer than 35 units, there must be an average of at least three open, serious violations per unit. For buildings with 35 units or more, there must be an average of at least two open, serious violations per unit.