Unpack the Host Watch List and the Baddest List

Richard LeFrak, billionaire businessman and CEO of LeFrak (Getty Images / Illustrated by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)

Just in time for the holiday season, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams’ list of Naughty Landlords was released this week, as did tenant groups that published a round of reviews on “worst seeker. ”

But are misled companies really the worst?

Over the years, the public advocacy office has dropped that word and renamed its tracking tool “homeowner watchlist,” as well as changing its methodology in an effort to find out badness instead of size. But as The Real Deal noticed, the model was still flawed.

For their part, the list of “worst evictions” is based on volume — punishing larger portfolio owners — and based on eviction records, not actual evictions.

Lists of public supporters are populated largely by lower profile owners. The physician list, as might be expected based on its methodology, includes a number of big-name hosts. Number 1 is LeFrak organization.

City second largest Rental landlords, led by billionaire Richard LeFrak, sued 2,627 households for eviction between March 2020 and September 2021, nearly a quarter of their more than 11,000 households, according to the report. list.

Majority in City of LeFrak, a mammoth development facility in Corona, Queens, with more than 5,000 animals. The listing says about 1,382 families there have been sued for eviction during the pandemic.

A LeFrak spokesperson said much of it stems from pre-pandemic non-payment and that this year only two evictions have been conducted, both with court approval.

The spokesperson added that LeFrak has followed all emergency guidelines and laws throughout the pandemic, noting that the state has not closed courts or banned nonpayment actions.

The evacuations have been ban across the state since the pandemic hit New York. Many homeowners have dropped their listings during this time, choose do exercise payment plans with tenants instead of adding to the backlog.

However, the moratorium requires tenants to file a hardship declaration to use the pandemic as a safeguard against evictions. As a result, cases of nonpayment or withholding where tenants failed to file returns or were prior to the pandemic may still continue.

LeFrak did not release a list of its supporters publicly, but based it on housing violations.

For the 2021 list, the office of public advocacy analyzed buildings based on the average number of Class B and immediate hazard Class C violations between December 2020 and November 2019. 2021. It then weights them – a Class C violation counts as 1.5 – and divides it by the number of units in a building to produce a score.

To be on the watch list, a building with fewer than 35 units must have a score of 3 or higher, meaning each unit has at least three weighted violations. Larger buildings require a minimum score of 2. Homeowners are then ranked according to the average score of buildings that meet the Watch List’s criteria.

Unfortunately, landlords cannot be trusted to own buildings with few violations. In other words, a homeowner can own many unaccounted buildings but he can make a listing based on a small number of those buildings.

For example, David Schorr, who tops the public advocates rankings, has 17 buildings shortlisted with an average of 1,442 public violations. However, he has 102 properties, according to a tool developed by JustFix, helped compile the list of The Worst. That means the 87 buildings that could have improved his ranking have not been counted.

It may not even be accurate to call Schorr a landowner. A spokesperson for the Fairstead, where Schorr is located The presidential election campaign, Schorr said, is a real estate manager and doesn’t own any buildings.

To create their Worst-Actors List, JustFix, the Right to Consult tenant advocacy group NYC Coalition, and the Anti-Evasion Mapping Project exploit Construction-level data from the Office of Court Administration on cases filed between March 2020 and September 2021.

Of the 20 embarrassed landlords, half sued less than 10% of their tenants.

The exceptions include Alan Sullivan’s Dematteis . Organization and Demetrios Moragianis of Proto Asset Services, who have filed for evictions over a quarter of their tenants. Neither company responded to a request for comment.

The real estate industry has criticized the list for not showing the actual number of evictions, which has historically been less than 10% of the number of petitions filed. Cases are usually resolved through a court-mandated payment plan or emergency funding from the city, known as a lump sum.

Several landlords have earned places on both watch lists and eviction lists: Jonathan Wiener, president of Chestnut Holdings, one of the largest owners in the Bronx, and Steven Finkelstein, principal of Finkelstein Timberger East Real Estate.

Both owners are suing 7 percent or less of their tenants for eviction, according to the doctor’s listing. Wiener has 88 units in breach, about 1% of his total holdings. His company is to sue by the attorney general last year for lead paint in 134 buildings.

Finkelstein owns more than 4,000 homes, yet its violations are all in a 54-unit building. Neither company responded to a request for comment. Unpack the Host Watch List and the Baddest List

Dais Johnston

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