The Real Deal New York

James adding lenders to her controversial “Worst Landlords” list

Public Advocate wants banks to start taking responsibility for troubled buildings
August 15, 2017 09:00AM

NYC Public Advocate Letitia James (Credit: Getty Images)

Public Advocate Letita James will add the names of lenders to her controversial “Worst Landlords Watchlist” when it comes out Tuesday.

The Public Advocates’ office has long published a list of what it deems to be the city’s worst landlords, though property owners have criticized the methodology, saying buildings often erroneously show up on the list and it doesn’t take into account owners who acquire troubled properties and work to clear violations.

Now James wants to add the names of 10 banks that lent more than $300 million worth of mortgages to the landlords who show up on the list, the Daily News reported.

Her office reached out to the lenders and asked them to alter their criteria for issuing loans, such as taking into consideration open building violations, harassment findings and dangerous conditions.

She also wants the banks to make removing violations a condition for a landlord to land a loan, and wants the lenders to appoint a liaison to work with owners to clear violations if they end up on the list.

Last year, landlord Kamran Hakim filed a lawsuit against James’ office, arguing he was unfairly named on the list. In July, The Real Deal took a look at the issue of lender culpability when it comes to tenant harassment claims. [NYDN]Rich Bockmann