The Real Worst Landlord

The biggest scofflaw and tenant harasser in New York is, once again, the City Housing Authority. Late last week it was revealed that the Authority sent 1400 tenants mistaken eviction notices, and this week the Department of Investigation revealed that the Authority had lied about doing required lead paint inspections since 2013.

But the Housing Authority was conspicuously absent from Public Advocate Letitia James 100 Worst Landlords list, released Tuesday. Instead, James included several owners who are already suing her over highlighting vacant buildings slated for redevelopment and others who recently acquired properties hoping to renovate them.

The Housing Authority would also be exempt from a bill moving through the City Council that would require a certificate of no-harassment before obtaining a building permit. CHIP and ABO have opposed the bill.

Meanwhile, Upper East Side councilmen are still trying to block a new high rise that would block some influential constituents’ views. They won a rezoning this week to prevent similar future developments but the Planning Commission wants the planned project grandfathered. The full Council will decide.

Mayor de Blasio has promised to address property tax reform in his second term, but the first proposal is a stick, not a carrot. As part of his Housing 2.0 plan he wants to raise taxes on vacant land to force development. His plan also relies heavily on private activity bonds which may or may not survive tax reform in Washington.

The City Department of Housing Preservation this week posted a sample combined notice about smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and reporting gas leaks. CHIP still recommends inserting an optional line about notifying management below the gas provider information.

Stuyvesant Town gets to be Green and cut its electricity bill. The electric-inclusion property is installing the country’s largest multifamily rooftop solar array. Developers hope to generate 6% of their energy needs.

Rent control is popular with elected officials, but not always with voters. Portland, Maine residents rejected a proposal to regulate rents in a referendum last week, 64% to 36%.

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