NYC secures an arrest warrant for the “worst landlord” in the city

In an unprecedented move, New York City has initiated stringent legal actions against one of its most negligent property owners, Daniel Ohebshalom, famously known as the city’s ‘worst landlord’. This follows a series of ongoing violations and neglect that have plagued his properties and endangered the welfare of his tenants.

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) successfully obtained a civil jail arrest warrant for Ohebshalom due to his persistent non-compliance with a court mandate to rectify nearly 700 housing code breaches.

These violations are located at two of his Manhattan properties, situated at 705 and 709 West 170th Street, in the Washington Heights area. Unless Ohebshalom addresses these infractions, he could face up to 60 days in civil jail.

Ohebshalom’s neglect spans over a year despite a standing court order. The cited violations are serious and hazardous, encompassing a range of issues from extensive lead paint peeling, rampant roach and mice infestations, to inadequate electricity and mold proliferation.

The city’s commitment to ensuring quality housing for its residents was reiterated by Leila Bozorg, the executive director of housing. She emphasized the ongoing efforts to maintain clean, stable homes for New Yorkers and highlighted the neglect by Ohebshalom towards his responsibilities as a landlord.

HPD’s legal battle with Ohebshalom began in 2021, with the agency’s Anti-Harassment Unit flagging the significant number of violations in his real estate holdings. These properties were then included in HPD’s Alternative Enforcement Program (AEP), accumulating over $48,000 in fees and necessitating emergency repairs for various issues, including leaks and mold.

However, Ohebshalom’s failure to adhere to the AEP led to further litigation, including jail time and civil penalties. The landlord’s ongoing neglect resulted in a Housing Court ruling of criminal and civil contempt, accompanied by a hefty $3,057,620 in civil penalties, underscoring the seriousness and prolonged nature of his violations.

Additionally, in a separate but related development, the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement secured over $1.1 million in penalties and fines from Ohebshalom for tenant harassment and illegal short-term rentals in other properties.

The case’s progression reflects the city’s stern stance against landlords who compromise their tenants’ safety and well-being. In response to his failure to comply with court orders, HPD is seeking a 7A administrator to oversee one of Ohebshalom’s buildings at 410 West 46th Street, signaling a potential shift in management to ensure tenant safety and compliance with housing regulations.

HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. made it clear that New York City has zero tolerance for unsafe and uninhabitable living conditions. The actions taken against Ohebshalom serve as a stern warning to all landlords that the city is committed to enforcing the law and safeguarding the rights of all New Yorkers to safe, healthy, and livable housing.

This case is a landmark in New York City’s efforts to combat neglectful property management and underscores the city’s commitment to holding landlords accountable for their actions and inactions.

It sends a strong message that the city is unwavering in its dedication to protect its residents from dangerous housing conditions and uphold the standards of living to which every New Yorker is entitled.

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