New York City landlord deemed city's 'worst' faces arrest over hundreds of open violations

Jim Dolan Image
Wednesday, March 13, 2024
Arrest warrant issued for landlord called NYC's worst
Jim Dolan speaks to residents living in the affected apartment building.

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan (WABC) -- An arrest warrant has been issued for a landlord repeatedly deemed New York City's worst.

The city's Department of Housing and Development got the warrant for Daniel Obhebshalom's arrest, holding him in contempt of court for failing to correct problems addressed during a hearing more than a year ago.

Photos of buildings owned by Obhebshalom have shown deplorable conditions like crumbling walls, ceilings, and trash-filled stairwells.

Just last year, city officials stood alongside residents as they denounced the landlord and his over 700 open violations.

Four-year-old Blake Rodriguez knows how dangerous life can be in a building owned by a bad landlord.

"Suddenly, I heard him scream," said his mother Yodanlys. "When I went into the room, the ceiling had collapsed over, and thankfully it wasn't a major injury, but it hit his head."

Collapsing ceilings are just part of the problem.

The view from the third floor is of a thriving, wretched ecosystem all its own with rats running freely -- Eyewitness News happened to be greeted by a few behind 709 W. 170th Street Monday night.

"It's been a bit of a nightmare over the past few years," said Rodriguez.

Rats jealously guard the trash as if it's their own as it piles up in the alley and at the curb.

Buildings at 705 and 709 West 170th Street are owned by Obhebshalom, who the city calls the worst landlord in New York."

Last year, he topped the worst landlord list for the second straight year.

The stark and squalid conditions in the two buildings, and his reluctance to make repairs, caused the city to issue an arrest warrant for him on Monday.

He'll spend 60 days in jail when they find him, which is something tenants have long been waiting for.

"They would withdraw the rent straight from our bank accounts every month," said Loyda Irizarry, who is a resident. "But then we'd have no heat for five days, every week no hot water."

In regard to the arrest warrant, the Public Advocate's Office said it's "a signal to the worst landlords around our city that severe negligence will lead to severe consequences."


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