Bad Landlords

Oct 2018

The High Cost of Bad Landlords

Impacts of irresponsible building ownership in New York City

This report seeks to describe in detail the challenges these bad types of landlords create, who is impacted and how, and what the cost of their action ultimately is for all.

Key findings and recommendations


What is The Challenge?

One-fifth of families living in a building with a bad landlord face at least one eviction case a year.

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Nearly half of evictions cases filed annually are for housing units in buildings with repeated patterns of both evictions and violations.

A Tale of Two Landlords

Family A family B

Who is Affected By Bad Landlords?

  • 1 million people
  • 890,000 people of color
  • 600,000 recipients of Medicare and Medicaid
  • 280,000 people living below the poverty line
  • 250,000 children
  • 124,000 people with disabilities
  • 110,000 seniors
Impacted homes

Communities with high concentrations of eviction cases and housing violations

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Bronx residents are twice as likely to live in a building with a bad landlord.

Cost to taxpayers from bad landlords

Legal proceedings
Legal aid to tenants$87 million
NYC Housing Court Program$13.8 million
Emergency Shelter for the Homeless$125 million
Unsheltered Homeless$6.9 million
Supportive Housing$18.8 million
City and State Housing Preservation & Development
HPD’s Emergency Repair Program$34 million
Cost of issuing housing violations$11.4 million*
The Preservation Anti-Abandonment program$4.4 million
Certificate of No Harassment Pilot Program$1 million
Tenant Protection Unit, Division of Housing and Community Renewal, New York State$1.8 million
Total$307.1 million

*This does not include the cost from any unpaid fines, as the revenue from these fines would also not be collectable if the landlords were good actors and the fines not issued.






Additional Content and Support

Ellis Calvin
Senior Planner, RPA
Christopher Jones
Senior Vice President and Chief Planner, RPA
Dani Simons
Vice President for Strategic Communications, RPA
Dave Zackin
Graphic Designer, RPA

Produced With

Marika Dias and Edward Josephson
Legal Services NYC
Yale Fox
Juanita Lewis
Community Voices Heard
David Siscovick
New York Academy of Medicine

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