Sunday, March 2, 2014

Slumlords getting away with it

From the Daily News:

Manhattan’s worst deadbeat landlords force city hardhats to repair their crumbling apartment buildings on the taxpayer dime.

Among their ranks is Luis Restrepo, the head officer of 593 Riverside Associates, which has racked up a six-figure tab with the city, putting the public on the hook for big-ticket fixes in his three Harlem buildings.

Bills for city-sanctioned repairs performed at 590-593 Riverside Dr. surpassed $108,000, records showed, making it Manhattan’s costliest building.

Restrepo and his management team were also slapped with more than $54,000 worth of city-sanctioned repairs in 49 St. Nicholas Terrace, and nearly $26,000 for 608 W. 139th St.

“We almost finished all the repairs,” Restrepo told the Daily News, when asked about the problems on Thursday. Asked to explain his six-figure repair bill, he replied: “Let me think about it.”

The building is one of 19 Manhattan residences — all north of 96th St. — tapped by the city as part of the Alternative Enforcement Program, which pressures slumlords to quickly their decaying properties or ultimately risk losing them.

Once a building goes into the program, it falls under the scrutiny of dedicated city inspectors who have beefed-up authority to order large-scale repairs. To get their property released, landlords are required to meet stringent benchmarks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why can't the city pass legislation to let them repossess the property once it gets to a certain point?