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De Blasio slams bad landlords

The city public advocate is taking aim at New York’s worst landlords and seven borough building owners are on his list, giving Queens the second fewest number of offenders.

Bill de Blasio’s office released the names of its worst landlords watch list last week and said his office is taking steps to make sure these owners work to meet their tenant’s basic needs.

Nearly 155 landlords who are responsible for 164 buildings in all five boroughs are on the list and have had a minimum of two city Department of Housing violations listed against them for offensives such as lead paint, lack of heat and hot water and damage to walls and ceilings.

“We wanted to expose the worst of the worst,” the public advocate said in a phone conference Aug. 31.

Queens had the second fewest number of landlords on the list, with five offenders from all parts of the borough followed by Staten Island.

Diana Alleyne, who lives on 177th Street in Jamaica, led the list with 97 violations for four properties, followed by Chinyere Okigwe, of Woodhull Avenue in Jamaica, with 74 violations in three buildings; Anthony Lewis, of 98th Street in Corona, with 73 violations in six properties; Valentin Kostov, of Woodbine Street in Ridgewood, with 54 violations in four properties; Loretta Thomas, of 45th Road in Bayside, with 36 violations in three properties; Sandra Vargas, of 86th Road in Richmond Hill, with 11 violations for one building; and Thasia Chin Prophete, of Murdock Avenue in St. Albans, with 10 violations in two buildings, according to the public advocate.

“That is a pattern of neglect. It does not happen overnight,” de Blasio said.

All of the offenders were notified that they were on the list, which is available for anyone to see on the public advocate’s website.

De Blasio said the list was made to make tenants aware of who is violating the law and encourage them to call the city if their home is being neglected.

“We think the public pressure will affect the landlords,” he said.

In the meantime, the public advocate said his office would be working to change the way the city goes after these owners. He noted that the recession has caused the Buildings Department to reduce the number of inspectors to survey the buildings and noted that many of the landlords use the system to their advantage by paying a small fine and pleading guilty to a violation without correcting it.

De Blasio said his office will be unveiling new initiatives in the coming weeks to close those loopholes and hold the landlords accountable.

“We see this as a beginning. We are going to stay on these buildings until they get fixed,” he said.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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