Some of New York City’s “worst landlords,” according to Public Advocate Letitia James’ watchlist, own buildings in the northwest Bronx. Their tenants have to deal with rats, crumbling tile, broken door locks, clogged sinks and bathtubs, living room ceilings with holes that leak water – and an uphill battle to get the landlords to make repairs.
The Press takes an in-depth look at the problem.
John Cawley has lived at 3971 Gouverneur Ave. for 23 years. He raised his daughter, now an NYPD inspector, there. But now he is simply counting down the days to escape a unit run by the worst “slumlord” in the city.
"Half the tenants don’t pay rent and then I hear people complaining about the landlord doesn’t fix things,” said Peter Lam. “So, I don’t know which comes first, the chicken or the egg.”
Martha Imbert has lived in her apartment for more than 20 years, and much of the time she and her fellow tenants have had to fight landlord Rich Luabsch over repairs and housing regulations.
Part of what is keeping some landlords from making the appropriate repairs on their buildings is a law allowing landlords to raise rents on vacated apartments by up to 20 percent.