Each year, New York City's public advocate compiles a list of the worst landlords in the five boroughs. Topping the 2014 rouges gallery is Robin Shimoff, a slumlord living in a $1.2 million mansion in Rockland County.
The New York Daily News visited Shimoff's suburban home as well as one of the 13 buildings she owns in the city, which have racked up 3,352 total violations this year as of August. One has seven bedrooms and an in-ground pool; the other creeping mold and stoves that shoot flames up to the ceiling:
[Fifty-eight-year-old tenant Rosie] Cabrera says her two-bedroom apartment has been in need of repairs for years with persistent water leaks that cause the ceiling to collapse repeatedly. On Friday she burst into tears as she pointed out mold creeping into the corner of her bathroom ceiling — an indication that the leak had returned yet again.
And there are other persistent problems. The bathroom sink ran continuously, the spigots unable to stop the flow. And she said Con Ed cut off her gas for two months after the used stove the landlord provided shot flames up to the ceiling.
Recently, she said, the building manager told her she'd have to move out if she wanted the $995-a-month apartment to be properly repaired.
"Where am I going to go? I have nowhere to go."
Other complaints among residents of the building on Decatur Avenue in the Bronx include a rat-infested children's playroom, peeling walls, and exposed electrical wiring. That building alone has 275 code violations still open.
Shimoff inherited the buildings from her late father, Jacob Selechnik, a notorious owner of unlivable Bronx buildings. When asked about the code violations on Decatur street, building manager Jose Peña said Shimoff "does visit the buildings and she knows what's going on and what she's inherited. We have tons of work crews doing work every day."