Slum Landlords

The Village Voice discusses landlords that don’t take care of their tenants. They allow their buildings to fall into disrepair in the hopes their tenants will move out, so they can fix it up and raise the rent.
This, of course, is illegal. The city fines these landlords. However, the fines are smaller than the money slumlords stand to gain by harming their tenants, forcing them to leave, and renting the apartments at higher prices.
I suggest instead of the fines going to the city, the fines should go to the tenants.
I think that’s “fairer”, since the tenants are the ones who suffered from the heater being busted and the other housing issues.
Also, I think it would “burn” these landlord’s insides to have to pay the very people they seek to harm! Maybe that would motivate them to follow the law and be decent people.
I think landlords who act like this should be barred from owning property in the city (for a decade or so) and the tenants should be guaranteed a year or two extension on their current lease without increases or fees allowed.
The current system gives the city incentive to allow the problem to fester. As long as violations are not fixed, the city makes money on fines. By removing the financial gain to the city, they might work faster towards requiring the landlord to fix the issues.


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