In this week’s podcast, Andrew Schultz discusses the latest news on one of NYC’s most notorious landlords to date. How much deep water is this person in?

Sometimes, there are smells that you just can’t explain – including the ones in drains. Find out how to get rid of some of those nasty rental property odors.

And, last, but not least, if you own an older rental home and are curious about how to replace sewer line drains, we’ll give you some insight in this week’s episode.

Show transcription:

Andrew Schultz: (00:00)
Hey everyone. Welcome back to another episode of the Rent Prep for Landlords podcast. This is episode number 429, and I’m your host, Andrew Schultz. On today’s episode, we’re gonna be talking about New York City’s most notorious negligent landlord has been arrested. How to get rid of odd smells and rentals and replacing existing sewer lines in older rental properties. We’ll get to all that right after this.

Voice Over: (00:26)
Welcome to the Rent Prep for Landlords podcast. Now your host, Andrew Schultz.

Andrew Schultz: (00:31)
Hey, Rent Preppers. If you haven’t had a chance to look at our blog lately, we recently released an in-depth guide on the top 10 clauses to include in your next lease agreement to help avoid any legal issues. Check that out today over at We’re gonna start things off this week with our in-the-news segment. This one comes to us from NBC New York. Title of the article is Worst New York City Landlord Arrested. We’ll spend up to 60 Days at Rikers. This was written by Linda Quero and we’re gonna go ahead and jump right in here.

Andrew Schultz: (01:04)
The man known as one of New York City’s most notoriously negligent landlords has been arrested. Daniel Oen Shalom, and I’m not entirely sure I’m pronouncing that correctly, is expected to serve up to 60 days on Rikers Island after turning himself in Thursday after allegedly failing to perform hundreds of court-ordered repairs on some Manhattan properties that he owns In a rare move last week, following years of trying to levy fines against the landlord of a Washington Heights building and make emergency fixes, the city issued an arrest warrant against a man they say is a slumlord in the two buildings along West 170th Street. The city alleges that the landlord and his company, Belmont Ventures, LLC, have racked up 700 serious violations affecting health and safety of those who live there. As a result, housing preservations and development Commissioner Adolfo Carry on Junior stepped up action and issued a warrant.

Andrew Schultz: (01:54)
We caught up with him. He’s facing 3 million in fines and penalties and he is going to jail for 60 days. Carrie and said for some years tenant Sonya per Alta and her neighbors have complained about conditions in their apartments. We have rats, roaches, no heat or hot water. She said, we’re gonna have a little celebration. We’re so happy that’s happening. It’s about time. Another tenant said they would go two weeks or even a month without hot water, always during the worst times. It’s not the first time that the city has taken action over the conditions inside the buildings, including a seven figure fine issued in 2022 and in January, 2023, HPD made nearly $50,000 worth of emergency repairs. The landlord owned several properties across Manhattan, which also appear regularly on the city’s list of lust landlords as well. People are dealing with mold and leaks, pests, rats and roaches, peeling paint, lead paint. Their children are exposed, seniors are exposed, and it’s time for this nonsense to stop said Kerion Kerion said The landlord happens to be out of state at the moment, but made a promise. Wherever you are, we’re going to catch up to you. Until we see this man behind bars and in handcuffs, we won’t be happy said tenant. Edward Lni, NBC New York reached out to the landlord’s attorney for comment, but he did not return calls.

Andrew Schultz: (03:10)
It’s not often that you see building code violations rise to the point of a warrant and arrest and jail time, but that’s exactly what happened here. It’s kind of impressive in a way. What we found over the years is that when a building code violation is issued, as long as you’re communicating with the building inspectors as well as making progress on getting the work done, they generally will work with you, but when you have over 700 outstanding violations, I think the building inspectors have a lot more ground to do something like this. We talk a lot about bat landlords and this appears to be a classic example. There’s a lot that we don’t know about the situation here, and I’m sure that the article cherry-picks the worst of it, but when you have the city stepping in and completing emergency repairs because the landlord won’t, that says a lot.

Andrew Schultz: (03:50)
New York State has what’s called a warranty of habitability. Essentially, the warranty of habitability states that the landlord is responsible for keeping their properties in a reasonable condition at the units need to be livable and violating. The warranty of habitability can be a defense in court when it comes to a nonpayment of rent case. It can also become a counterclaim if the tenant pays to have work done in the unit and wants reimbursement. There’s a pretty lengthy list of items on the warranty of Habitability List, which you can find by typing NYS warranty of habitability into Google at the time of this recording. The very first search result is a PDF file from the New York State Unified Court System, which discusses warranty of habitability and the conditions that must be met. I’m not going to sit here and read them all off because it’s like three pages long, but being unable to live in part or all of the apartment is number one followed by no water, water leaks, no hot water, and no heat.

Andrew Schultz: (04:43)
Pests and mold is also on there. Missing smoke and seal detectors are also on there. Basically, everything mentioned in this article is on the list. None of the items on the list are items that should even be a question as to why the property owner is responsible, but that doesn’t stop bad landlords from being bad. It’ll be interesting to watch this case as it progresses. New York City has some landlord-tenant law that is stricter than the rest of the state, and at this point I think that this landlord has a long road ahead of him, both in jail and once he’s out and landlords like this just make the rest of us who are providing quality housing look bad

Voice Over: (05:17)
Water cooler wisdom, expert advice from Real Estate Pros.

Andrew Schultz: (05:26)
We have two really good water cooler wisdom segments for you this week. Both of these come to us via the Rent Prep for Landlord’s Facebook group. Let’s go ahead and jump into the first one. I’m cleaning my rental and the kitchen has a funky smell, but no other parts of the house are affected. What do you guys suggest to get rid of a fishy-like smell that’s coming from the oven and the fridge area? The kitchen has been cleaned, but the odor persists, and again, this one comes to us via the Rent Prep for Landlord’s Facebook group. Chances are there’s something that hasn’t been cleaned yet, which is causing the odor. Your best bet is to do a deep clean of the kitchen to try to eliminate any possible sources of odor. Start by washing down all of the walls, the floors, the ceiling inside and outside of all of the cabinets, and all other surfaces with a degreaser, and follow it up with a good general-purpose cleaner.

Andrew Schultz: (06:11)
Don’t forget to do your vent hood if you have one above the stove because there are a lot of smells that can get trapped in the grease and in the filters that live underneath the vent hood. Be sure to pull your stove and fridge out, clean the floor and the walls behind, and also around both appliances on the refrigerator. This is good opportunity to clean the backside and the underside, including the coils, and you may also wanna see if there’s something growing in the drip pan of your refrigerator that could be causing the odor. Deep cleaning, the stove will likely have the most impact. It’s going to need more than a surface level. Clean stoves typically require the most attention and take the longest of any appliance because there are so many areas for food to get into that can cause an odor if you’re able to lift the top and clean underneath that, and don’t forget to clean the drawer or the broiler area as well.

Andrew Schultz: (06:57)
Deep cleaning a stove can be a pain, but it always looks way better when it’s done and it’ll definitely smell better. If you have a dishwasher, make sure that you clean the filter inside and run a cleaning cycle. Many people don’t realize that there’s a filter in the dishwasher that needs to be cleaned regularly as it builds up gunk and food debris over time, which can in turn cause smells. Generally, it’ll be in the main cabinet of the dishwasher at the bottom near the spray arm. If you have a garbage disposal, you can run baking soda and vinegar in it to clean it. Just like a middle school science experiment, let it foam and bubble up for about 10 minutes and then run hot water down the line after to clear any remaining baking soda. Use less baking soda than you think you might need.

Andrew Schultz: (07:36)
It can gunk up your drains if the vinegar and hot water doesn’t clear it all away. I also typically follow this up by running a bunch of ice down through the garbage disposal as well. Once you’ve deep cleaned everything, if you are still experiencing the smell, I would recommend an ozone generator to help knock out any remaining orders. You may need to run it a few times to get all of the odors out, and I strongly recommend reading the instructions completely because ozone machines can kill you if you’re not careful about how you use the machine and when you enter the space either during or after it has been run tough. Smells are a pain to get rid of. Deep cleaning is a great start. Ozone generators can also help. Even painting can help once you’ve done a thorough job of cleaning, but until the source of the smell is eliminated, you will never be able to make it go away.

Andrew Schultz: (08:22)
Our second water cooler wisdom of the day and also our last segment of this podcast also comes to us via the Rent Prep for Landlords Facebook group. Let’s go ahead and jump into this one. I’m thinking about finishing the basement in my home, but before doing so, I wanna replace the cast Iron Maine and train to the street. Does anyone have any suggestions or recommendations for this type of job? Anything that I should consider or be on the lookout for? This is a two-family home owner-occupied in New Jersey. Thank you in advance. I’m not gonna spend a bunch of time discussing basement-level apartments and bringing everything to to code when you build out, because we’ve talked about that several times before. Just understand that basement level, apartments without proper egress typically do not meet code and should not be occupied. Contact your local building office to see what they require and follow those guidelines.

Andrew Schultz: (09:08)
You don’t wanna tenant it to die in a fire because they had no escape route. I don’t think it’s a bad idea to consider replacing the line from the basement to the street, especially if you’re planning to rent that space out. There are a couple things to consider while you’re having this work done inside, make sure that the plumber is leaving you a clean out at the base of the stack before it goes into the basement floor. This is a huge help when it comes to dealing with future plumbing issues and if you’re planning on framing in the sewer line, be sure that you have easy access to the cleanout so that you can effectively use it when the time comes. If your cleanout is blocked by a wall, you’re going to wind up cutting your new wall open to get access to that cleanout.

Andrew Schultz: (09:45)
You should make life a little bit easier on your future self by making sure that you’ve planned for that access while you’re doing your build out. I also strongly recommend a backflow preventer to be installed while you’re doing this work. A backflow preventer is exactly what it sounds like. It prevents anything that goes down the sewer and out to the street from coming back into your basement. In some areas, storm sewer and sanitary sewer are two separate systems in other areas, everything runs to the sanitary sewer, so when you have older infrastructure like that, if there’s a large amount of rain or a flood, some sort of event that results in the municipal infrastructure being overloaded, that backflow preventer can save your finished basement from being ruined. We just touched on storm versus sanitary sewer. Check with your building code department to see what the requirements are in your area.

Andrew Schultz: (10:31)
Some areas want every single gutter tied into the storm system. Other areas are fine with water going out to the yard and being absorbed by the ground, and some areas are going to watch you to install a bubbler system. It really depends on where you live, what the requirements are going to be for your particular set of circumstances. Now, outside the house on the way to the street, you’re going to be installing a vent stack. I recommend having a double Y installed to make it easier to clean your sewer from the yard to the street, as well as from the yard to the basement. Whenever we get a call for a plug sewer, we try to make sure that we snake both from the basement to the street as well as to the street to the basement in both directions to ensure that everything is cleared out, and that definitely helps to reduce the number of callbacks.

Andrew Schultz: (11:13)
If you have drainage issues in your property, now is the time to deal with those as well. You don’t wanna spend a ton of money finishing a basement just to have it ruined, so if you get any moisture in your basement, now is the time to deal with it. If you have any spots where the walls weep, for instance, you’re gonna wanna get that situation fixed for sure. In addition, you may need to install French drains in the basement to move water under the floor to a sump crock where the sump pump can then take that water and pump it wherever it needs to go. I don’t often recommend home warranty companies of any sort, but there are water and sewer line protection programs out there that you may wanna consider as well. For those of us not considering a major rehab, having that water and sewer protection is great in the event that your water main breaks or that your sewer lines fail.

Andrew Schultz: (11:57)
Most even include a free snake out once or twice a year. I don’t have a specific company that I would recommend here, but overall, I have found that the water and sewer line protection policies are pretty good about paying out when they should. Unlike most standard home warranties, there are a lot of considerations when it comes to basement drainage. I recommend speaking to a drainage professional to see what they recommend for your home, as well as what the requirements are in your area. We’re also starting to see municipalities in our area requiring a drainage inspection before a property can be sold or transferred. In many instances, this turns into a costly and unexpected repair for the homeowner who’s just trying to sell their property, so getting ahead of the curve is a great idea when you’re already planning to do this work.

Andrew Schultz: (12:40)
The Rent Prep for Landlord’s Facebook group is over 14,000 members. Our group members get access to our Sherwin Williams and PPG paint Discount programs can ask questions in our monthly AMA sessions and also so much more so if you have a question or a situation that you’ve never encountered or just need to bounce an idea off, a huge group of housing providers, this is the place. If you haven’t checked it out yet, do it today over at Don’t forget to mention the podcast when answering the questions so we know how you found us. That pretty much wraps up this episode of the Rent Prep for Landlords podcast. Thank you all so much for listening. Our goal with the podcast is to help as many people as possible make educated decisions when it comes to real estate and you can help us to reach our goal.

Andrew Schultz: (13:22)
If you heard anything in this week’s episode or any other episode that will help someone that you know, please do us a favor and share it with them. If you’re looking to get in contact with me, I can be reached over at whatsdrewupto com. From there, you’ll find links to everything going on with me over at Own Buffalo, as well as other projects that we’re working on. You can also grab a free copy of our deal analysis tool over at There’s no obligation and it comes with a companion video showing you how to use it. If you’re looking for top tier tenant screening services, head on over to There are multiple products to choose from, including tenant paid options, and if you’re over 50 doors, ask about the enterprise-level programs and pricing. I’ve been an enterprise user of Rent Prep for over a decade now, and it’s absolutely changed the way that we screen our tenants. Check that out today over at Again, thank you all so much for listening. We’ll be back in two weeks with an all-new episode you won’t wanna miss. Until then, I’m Andrew Schultz with for, and we’ll talk to you soon.

Subscribe To Our Podcast

Our podcast has grown over the years because of listeners like yourself. One way you can help us grow further is by leaving us a review of our podcast. It will only take a minute and you can find detailed instructions by clicking here.

Resources Mentioned in this Episode: