RPA Study Looks at Impact of ‘Bad Landlords’

According to research recently published by the Regional Plan Association (RPA), a handful of landlords is responsible for a disproportionate amount of the city’s poor housing and eviction cases. RPA labels these landlords as “bad landlords” and defines them as having: (1) a building with more than 10 housing-code violations; (2) at least two eviction cases in housing court between 2013 and mid-2015; and (3) eviction proceedings involving 30 percent of their units. RPA estimates that “of the 763,276 buildings with residential units in NYC, less than 2 percent are managed by bad landlords.”

According to the report, these landlords account for nearly half the eviction proceedings and half of the actual evictions that occur in the city. Also, when RPA tallied up the public spending necessitated by those bad buildings, it concluded that $307 million in annual costs can be laid on their doorsteps.

In addition, the report highlights the human impact of buildings with poor housing conditions. According to the RPA, 339 children under 5 were exposed to lead due to bad landlords, leading to health problems such as brain damage and costing $680,000 in medical and special education costs, and there were 413 people with allergic rhinitis and 284 people with asthma due to mold exposure, leading to $2.6 million in total economic costs.