Is Urban American NYC’s “worst landlord”?

Urban American Management, it turns out, may just be New York City’s “worst landlord” of all.

Of course, I can’t just make this conjecture without any data to back it up. So let’s examine the facts, using the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Building Registration and Violation service. On a side note, I would like to thank HPD for providing access to this free public data.

Remember:

  • Class A: Non-hazardous violations, such as minor leaks or lack of signs designating floor numbers. An owner has 90 days to correct an A violation and two weeks to certify repair to remove the violation.
  • Class B: Hazardous violations, such as requiring public doors to be self-closing, adequate lighting in public areas, lack of posted Certificate of Occupancy, or removal of vermin. An owner has 30 days to correct a B violation and two weeks to certify the correction to remove the violation.
  • Class C: Immediately hazardous violations, such as inadequate fire exits, rodents, lead-based paint, lack of heat, hot water, electricity, or gas. An owner has 24 hours to correct a C violation and five days to certify the correction to remove the violation. If the owner fails to comply with emergency C violations such as lack of heat or hot water, HPD initiates corrective action through its Emergency Repair Program.
  •  
    According to Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio's Worst Landlord Watchlist (whose criteria I am using), Josh Eisenberg is the 9th worst landlord in Brooklyn and the 85th worst in the five boroughs (both stats as of 4/4/11).
     
    However, as these screencaps from the two lists show, he only has 214 open violations listed (40 class A, 144 class B, and 35 class C) and is listed as owning only one building. Click to enlarge the images:

    If HPD is going by who is listed as “Head Officer” in order to determine building ownership, then Josh Eisenberg, and in turn, Urban American Management, ought to be held accountable for all of the buildings which they allegedly own. I’m not sure why HPD’s systems couldn’t do this on their own, but I have a feeling that it was a simple database error. Oh well, not a problem.

    On April 8th, 2011, I went through the list of every building I could find online that allegedly belongs to Urban American (as listed here, sources cited) and double-checked registration information using the HPD site to ensure that every building on the list listed its head officer as Josh Eisenberg. This way, I’d know if the building had been sold, or if I had been given erroneous information. Sure enough, every building on my list was in his name, save for 610 W. 110th st. and 215 W. 88th st. in Manhattan, which are in the name of Josh’s father, Philip Eisenberg.

    Next, I tallied how many open violations each building had listed. Open violations are also the criteria used by the Office of the Public Advocate. Here’s a screencap of when I looked up 2487 Grant Ave, a 5 story walk-up building in the Fordham Manor neighborhood of the Bronx. As mentioned above, Class C violations are “immediately hazardous” — and this building has 107.

    185 violations. How can this building even be standing?

    Here’s another one from 25 Tennis Court in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, a 6-story elevator building with every kind of violation, even a Class I. Those are, according to HPD, “violations for which there is an order from a judge to correct a violation. This category also applies if the building is in the Alternative Enforcement Program or an order to vacate exists.” Class I violations are rare, but undoubtedly quite serious.

    25 Tennis Court demonstrates the full variety of violations.

    After tallying all of the addresses in Excel, I came up with the grand total of violations for all buildings listed: 4,066.

    That’s right. Over 4,000 violations. 727 Class A violations, 2599 Class B violations, 737 Class C violations, and 2 Class I violations.

    Don’t believe me? Download the Excel spreadsheet I made. For the sake of credibility, I invite my readers to double-check those addresses in the HPD database. Please inform me of any discrepancies.

    In comparison, the current “Worst Landlord” in NYC, Lisa Deshraj, has 2,047 violations in her buildings. That’s only about half of what Josh Eisenberg and Urban American Management have.

    I wonder what the Office of the Public Advocate will have to say about this?

    5 Responses to “Is Urban American NYC’s “worst landlord”?”

    1. Mark July 1, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

      I live at 35 Tennis Court. I’ve had water coming in through my walls and ceiling. Called everyone at UAM and nobody seems willing or able to help. Super for the building works the same hours I do… so frustrating.

    2. vimax review August 24, 2011 at 7:35 am #

      Im struggling to get a way to make contact with you through your website, do you not have a contact form on the website at all?

    3. Jon November 9, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

      This is disheartening as I am currently a tenant of UAM. I was hoping that UAM would repair much of the issues in the building and my unit… so much for that.

    Trackbacks/Pingbacks

    1. Violation Calculation « Slumlord Millionaires - April 9, 2011

      […] Is Urban American NYC’s worst landlord? […]

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