Jail Ahead For “Worst Landlord On This Planet” Over Squalid Rentals

The sheriff has been ordered to arrest a landlord twice named worst in New York City and bring him to Rikers Island for up to 60 days over hundreds of building violations.

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A New York City landlord is facing up to 60 days in jail after the city’s Civil Court issued a warrant for the poor condition of his properties in recent years.

The city said Daniel Ohebshalom has allowed his buildings to create hazardous conditions that include peeling lead paint, roach and mice infestations, inadequate electricity supply and mold.

The city secured a warrant ordering the sheriff to bring Ohebshalom, who may be living in Los Angeles, to Rikers Island over his repeated neglect of buildings, which has earned him a notorious reputation in the Big Apple.

“Landlords have a responsibility to keep their properties in a state of good repair and safe for those who call their buildings home. When that standard isn’t met, the City must take action,” said Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine.

The case stems from efforts that started in 2021 to fix hazards at two of Ohebshalom’s properties, the city said. The city moved to hold the landlord in contempt, including jail time and $3 million in civil penalties.

“The most striking factor informing the Court’s discretion is the duration of the contempt proceeding,” the city wrote this week. “The sheer volume of extant hazardous and immediately hazardous violations bespeaks the extent of Respondents’ contempt.”  

Tenants of Ohebshalom put it another way.

“He’s the worst landlord on this planet,” a tenant of Ohebshalom’s told The Real Deal. “They should take these buildings away from him.”

Online reviews left by people who said they were tenants in Ohebshalom’s buildings elsewhere in the region spoke about similar issues, like a lack of maintenance, trash that piled up around the building and rat infestations.

Ohebshalom is well-known to city housing watchdogs who have named him and his associate the worst landlord in New York City two years in a row. The list ranks landlords by number of violations from the city.

The properties have racked up dozens — sometimes even hundreds — of violations each, according to New York City records.

In November, the city successfully took over management of another one of Ohebshalom’s buildings in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood.

A law firm associated with Ohebshalom’s buildings didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Inman couldn’t find a contact for Ohebshalom himself.

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