Woodside landlord named worst in Queens in public advocate’s ‘watchlist’

woodside apt
Photo via Google Maps

A property owner in Woodside was named the worst landlord in Queens — and the second worst in the entire city — in Public Advocate Letitia James’ “Landlord Watchlist” released this week.

The list is a collection of violations and complaints filed with the Department of Buildings (DOB) and Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). James has continued to compile the list after Mayor Bill de Blasio started the project in 2010 when he was public advocate.

The property on 39-30 59th St., owned by Harry D. Silverstein, has received 255 HPD violations and 18 DOB violations in the past year alone. A majority of the HPD violations are Class B, which are classified as hazardous. Complaints include a defective elevator, which residents have filed complaints about since 2012, and an illegal apartment in the basement.

In 2013, Silverstein’s employer — Woodside Silver Associates LLC — was slapped with a partial vacate order for converting the basement into an illegal apartment, adding partitions for a kitchen, living room, bathroom and a gas stove. DOB records show that people have been living in this apartment since at least August 2011.

The watchlist also crowned Silverstein as the second worst landlord in all of New York City. He owns seven buildings throughout Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx and has racked up a total of 1,482 violations this year. Silverstein could not be reached for comment as of press time.

Kevin Kane, who is head officer of a Sunnyside apartment at 43-15 46th St., was named the third worst landlord in Queens. According to a spokesperson for Aras Properties, the management company for the property, the building is actually a co-op. Aras Properties exclusively manages co-ops and the list is meant to highlight only rental properties.

The co-op has a total of 224 HPD violations and three DOB complaints. According to DOB records, complaints included corrosion and mold on gas piping and strange smells and noises coming from vents in the laundromat.

“Every New Yorker deserves to live in safety and security, and every apartment needs to meet basic standards of decency,” James said in a statement. “Unfortunately, unscrupulous landlords throughout our city are failing to uphold these basic rights, creating inhumane living conditions for tenants. The Worst Landlords Watchlist puts these bad actors on notice, and is a vital resource and tool for tenants.”