Seven UES buildings are owned by the worst landlords in NYC, according to Public Advocate Jumaane Williams | Upper East Site
Seven UES buildings are owned by the worst landlords in NYC, according to Public Advocate Jumaane Williams | Upper East Site

These Eight UES Buildings Are Owned by the ‘Worst Landlords’ in NYC

The annual watchlist of the worst landlords in the New York City is out and this year the NYC Public  Advocate’s Office says the absolute worst two offending landlords own a total of eight Upper East Side buildings combined, which have racked up hundreds of violations and thousands of work orders.

According to Public Advocate Humane Williams, private landlord Jonathan Santana, who owns a total of 15 buildings across the city and has been hit with a whopping 2,980 uncorrected violations issued by the NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development, or HPD, the agency responsible for code inspections. 

Here on the Upper East Side, Williams says Mr. Sanata owns two buildings in Yorkville and Lenox Hill. Sitting at the corner of Third Avenue and East 89th Street, the 102-year-old four-story walk up building located at 1585 Third Avenue contains a total of just 14 units but has a total of unresolved 78 HPD violations. 

The owner of 1585 Third Avenue as been named worst private landlord in NYC | Upper East Site
The owner of 1585 Third Avenue as been named worst private landlord in NYC | Upper East Site

The UES building, which also has a secondary address of 201 East 89th Street, has violations dating back to 1997 that cover everything from a defective fire escape and missing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, to water leaks and broken fixtures in multiple units and even defective self-closing doors — which are meant to prevent the spread of a fire from an apartment to the rest of the building.

Partial stop work and vacate orders were issued for the apartment building in 2019, when inspectors found the structure’s exterior walls were heavily cracked, while a fourth floor unit had its fire escape removed. Large cracks could be seen in the facade of the building from street level on Wednesday.

Large cracks near the roof of 1585 Third Avenue can be seen from the street | Upper East Site
Large cracks near the roof of 1585 Third Avenue can be seen from the street | Upper East Site

Meanwhile, down at Mr. Santana’s Lenox Hill property located at 338 East 61st Street, the 112-year-old five-story building between First and Second Avenues has a total of 151 uncorrected HPD violations dating back to September 1988. 

Broken self-closing fire doors, defective smoke detectors, leaking fixtures, damaged walls, vermin infestations and even visible mold left to grow unabated were all found by HPD inspectors over the last 34 years.

Mr. Santana, who was named the worst private landlord across the five boroughs, could not be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, the dubious distinction of worst overall landlord in NYC goes to none other than the New York City Housing Authority, or NYCHA, which has seven buildings across three developments on the Upper East Side, based on the number of open work orders, since NYCHA isn’t inspected by HPD.

Holmes Towers, which consists of 530 units spread across two 25-story buildings located of East 92nd Street and between First Avenue and the FDR Drive had a total of 1,590 open work orders.

NYCHA's Holmes Towers are located at 1780 First Avenue and have 1,590 open work orders | Upper East Site
NYCHA’s Holmes Towers are located at 1780 First Avenue and have 1,590 open work orders | Upper East Site

NYCHA’s Issacs Houses, which is comprised of three 24-story buildings next to Holmes Towers on First Avenue in Yorkville, contains 636 apartment and has more than 2,000 open work orders at the end of November.

NYCHA's Isaacs Houses, locates at 419 East 93rd Street, has more than 2,000 open work orders | Upper East Site
NYCHA’s Isaacs Houses, locates at 419 East 93rd Street, has more than 2,000 open work orders | Upper East Site

Meanwhile, down in Lenox Hill, the Robbins Plaza senior-housing apartment building owned and operated by NYCHA at the corner of East 70th Street and First Avenue has 400 open work orders, despite being home to just 150 apartments. 

NYCHA's Robbins Plaza is located at 343 East 70th Street | Upper East Site
NYCHA’s Robbins Plaza is located at 343 East 70th Street | Upper East Site

“NYCHA has been working collaboratively with residents, elected officials and other stakeholders to stand up the Public Housing Preservation Trust— understanding its potential to unlock critically important funding and address long-overdue repairs,” NYCHA’s Chief Communications Officer Barbara Brancaccio told Upper East Site.

“We call on the Public Advocate to support NYCHA in its efforts to make conditions better for the New Yorkers who live there and look forward to working with all partners interested in improving the quality of life for public housing residents,” Brancaccio added.

The Trust is a new agency authorized by Governor Kathy Hochul this year to issue bonds and accumulate debt to fund the $40 billion in repairs needed at NYCHA buildings.

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