For New York City’s so-called worst landlord, the rent has come due.
In a settlement with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Jason Korn agreed to pay $235,000 in civil penalties, the Patch reported. The penalties stem from building violations and tenant harassment at six different buildings, including four in Brooklyn and two in Manhattan.
Korn has become a mainstay on the city’s Worst Landlord Watchlist, topping the notorious ranking for two years running. Tenants have pointed to issues including roaches, mice, water leaks and lead-based paint in his buildings.
Officials claim Korn was falsely certifying that violations had been fixed. He has 90 days to fix all of the outstanding issues at the six buildings as part of the settlement. That could be a tall task, as the Patch reported his four Brooklyn buildings alone total nearly 300 open violations as of Nov. 22.
Korn owns at least 10 buildings in total, which have averaged 1,822 violations, according to the Patch. The four Brooklyn buildings in question are on Avenue I, Ocean Avenue and East 17th and 29th streets, while the two Manhattan buildings are located on Nagle Avenue in Inwood.
HPD has vowed to continue monitoring the buildings involved in its settlement with Korn. If violations aren’t fixed in 90 days, more penalties could be imposed.
Last year, more than a dozen residents of Korn’s building at 1616 President Street in Crown Heights launched a rent strike. The building’s open violations at the time included vermin infestations, mold issues and peeling lead paint. After negotiations regarding the property’s future broke down, Korn reportedly began trying to evict most of its tenants.
Korn’s attorney told the Patch that his client doesn’t belong on the top of the notorious watchlist, pointing towards monitoring and methodology issues. Nevertheless, he said the settlement was in the best interest for all.
“We’re confident Mr. Korn will no longer be on the watchlist in the upcoming years — most of these violations have already been removed and a good portion of the fines already paid,” attorney John Bianco told the outlet.
[Patch] — Holden Walter-Warner