UPDATED, 6:40 p.m., Nov. 23: New York City Public Advocate Letitia James released her annual “Worst Landlord Watchlist” Monday, and it featured at least one landlord who was wrongly included — MNS Real Estate partner David Behin.
The list features property owners around the city who have racked up the most violations relative to the number of apartments they own. It’s meant to expose those landlords in the hope that they will fix up their buildings, as well as providing a resource for tenants.
Jamaica-based landlord Ved Parkash – no stranger to criticism for his property management practices – topped this year’s watch list with 2,235 violations from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and 134 complaints with Department of Buildings, according to Crain’s. Parkash owns 7,200 units in 11 buildings across the city.
But the list is also capable of wrongly spotlighting property owners, like Behin, who have merely purchased a building that had problems in the past. Last year, the MNS partner made the list for a Bushwick property he owned at 657 Knickerbocker Avenue – which he had actually purchased through a state program transferring poorly-run properties to more capable landlords.
At the time, James noted that Behin was in the process of making upgrades to the property and would not be listed on the 2015 watch list. But sure enough, when the list went up Monday, Behin was on it again. He was removed from the watch list as of Monday afternoon.
“Landlords who are working with HPD to improve living conditions for tenants, such as David Behin, are not meant to be on the list,” James said in a statement provided to The Real Deal. “I urge any landlord who feels he or she is wrongly on the list to contact my office.”
Behin, who is also co-founder and CEO of real estate crowdfunding startup CityFunders, declined to comment on the matter when reached by TRD.
Mayor Bill de Blasio first created the list in 2010 while serving as the city’s public advocate. [Crain’s] – Rey Mashayekhi