HPD to sell off emergency repair liens in next few days

August 04, 2011 08:37AM

New York landlords who haven’t repaid the city for addressing dangerous conditions in their buildings have run out of time, the Wall Street Journal reported, as yesterday marked the deadline for paying off emergency repair liens before the liens were sold to investors. This is the first time the city has sold the rights to collect charges for repair services.

“This should be a wake-up call for landlords who think they can continue to use the city as their personal repair team,” said Douglas Apple, first deputy commissioner at the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

An estimated $6.6 million worth of liens will be sold off in the next few days, a spokesperson for the Department of Finance said.

More than 700 properties around the city needed $12 million in repairs when the department first drew up a list of potential liens in May. The threat of a sale seems to have worked; close to half those fees were successfully collected by the end of July.

“We felt very strongly this [lien sale] was a mechanism to both recoup money and just as importantly to intervene in buildings that have real problems,” Apple said when the lien list was first publicized. [WSJ]