Few ‘bad’ landlords causing most pain for tenants, according to a new report

A relatively small number of “bad” landlords have a dramatic impact on tenants and the roughly $300 million the city spends annually triaging their behavior with repairs, legal remedies and services for the homeless, according to a new report.

The Regional Plan Association released an analysis  Wednesday noting that less than 2 percent of residential buildings in the city are managed by “bad” landlords, but because these owners’ portfolios include larger residences, their behavior impacts nearly one in five rental units in the city.

RPA labeled owners “bad” if their buildings had a per-unit eviction rate of at least 0.3 — which is more than double the average building’s rate — and the city had slapped them with at least 10 housing code violations from 2013 to mid-2015.

During that period, 48 percent of all filed eviction cases came from buildings with “repeated patterns of both evictions and violations,” which the RPA said indicated “landlord neglect and harassment.”

“Our research makes visible the large costs that a minority of bad actors are imposing on residents and the city as a whole,” Mandu Sen, the lead researcher on the report, said in a statement. “Having to miss work to deal with maintenance issues or kids that are sick because of substandard housing, comes with real costs to families, employers and ultimately taxpayers.”

The report concludes that the city spends at least $300 million annually — which amounts to a tax bill of about $100 per household — funding emergency housing repairs, legal aid for tenants, the housing court system, services for the homeless and other related relief.