NYC Renters Can Find the Worst Landlords on Craigslist
So, the C-List has partnered up with the office of Bill de Blasio, New York's city public advocate, to hold slumlords accountable by naming the worst of the worst. By culling infraction information -- tallied by four levels of violations -- Craiglisters can now see if their potential landlord is on the dreaded top 50 list of the city's worst landlords. Where was this when I needed it last month?
At the top of the housing page, you're taken directly to de Blasio's site by clicking NYC's Worst Landlords, a straightforward list that uses Google Maps to plot the properties owned by the city's most egregious homeowners. (Strangely enough, nine out of the top 10 were located in the Bronx or Harlem.) Not only can future renters check to see landlords to avoid, but they can also enter in their new address to see if any complaints have been filed. This is just one element of the programs newly implemented by Mayor Bloomberg's administration, but it is the only one teaming up with Craigslist, which is by now the de facto source for those on a housing search. Acting as a tool to both empower renters and deter slumlords, the Craigslist/public advocate project gives those on the house hunt official data.
Fortunately, my new place (and landlord) are nowhere on the list. (But now I wonder about the dude with no sink.) A centralized, city-condoned location for tenants to turn to when they are sailing the wild waters of Craigslist doesn't quite solve the bedbug/cockroach/mouse problem plaguing NYC, but reaching out with an easily accessible, near-universal online tool, the city gives a little bit of power back to the struggling renter who is being convinced that a sink is a frivolous amenity.