November 22, 2021
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In a major victory for tenants, the landlord agrees to fix a series of violations in nearly 400 homes spanning Brooklyn and Manhattan
NEW YORK – The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) has reached a major settlement agreement with Jason Korn, a Brooklyn-based landlord who has topped the NYC Public Advocate’s Worst Landlord Watchlist two years in a row. As part of the settlement, Mr. Korn has agreed to resolve outstanding building violations and end tenant harassment in six buildings impacting 388 households in Brooklyn and Manhattan. The owner agreed to pay $235,000 in civil penalties, correct all outstanding housing code violations within 90 days and comply with the City’s tenant harassment laws. This settlement follows a lengthy investigation conducted by HPD’s Anti-Harassment Unit (AHU) and Division of Code Enforcement spanning six buildings.
“Landlords have a responsibility to provide safe housing for their tenants and when they fail to meet that responsibility, there needs to be consequences,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll. “Even while we offer assistance to tenants and landlords who are struggling to maintain their properties, landlords should know that HPD will also use the full weight of its enforcement capabilities if they repeatedly fail to uphold their obligation to ensure that New Yorkers live in safe and secure housing.”
HPD’s investigation spanned four buildings in Brooklyn and two in Manhattan under Mr. Korn’s ownership in which hundreds of violations were documented over 35 site visits. The investigation established a pattern of gross building neglect resulting in unsafe conditions, such as infestation of vermin including roaches and mice, mold, lead-based paint and water leaks.
The investigation also found that Mr. Korn engaged in a pattern of false certification of the correction of violations. HPD will continue to monitor the buildings for compliance with the settlement agreement while it maintains the option to seek additional penalties in court if the violations are not corrected on time.
The following addresses are included in the settlement:
Established in 2019, the Anti-Harassment Unit under HPD’s Division of Special Enforcement identifies and investigates buildings where conditions likely constitute harassment. The unit has initiated litigation against 90 buildings. For cases including harassment claims, AHU attorneys have secured more than $680,000 in civil penalties and over $100,000 in rent credits for tenants. The Unit has obtained 32 court orders to correct violations and end harassment deriving from building conditions for almost 1,000 households.
A property owner's failure to correct dangerous conditions or frequent disruptions of or failure to supply water, heat, gas, or electric service may constitute harassment. HPD can investigate claims of harassment due to maintenance issues. If tenants believe that the owner of their building is withholding essential services or not making repairs to force them to move out of their apartment, they can contact HPD's Anti-Harassment Unit by calling 311.