SCHENECTADY — A Schenectady landlord was fined roughly $378,000 in City Court last week over a long-running series of building code violations at several properties in the city.
Combined with previous fines, Al Haqq LLC and Ahmad Halim, a member of the LLC, are now facing $665,500 in penalties.
Mayor Gary McCarthy and Corporation Counsel Andrew Koldin announced the ruling Friday, and called it a victory in the battle against blight perpetrated by an absentee landlord.
“These neglected and distressed properties cause safety issues for our residents and harm the quality of life and value in our neighborhoods,” McCarthy said in a news release.
Koldin said there have been ongoing problems with the LLC, which has an Ellicott City, Maryland, mailing address and is believed to own about a dozen properties here in Schenectady.
Inspections revealed violations of city and state codes at 308 and 313 Schenectady St. as well as 953 Albany St. in 2022. Violations were found in 2018 at the same addresses, as well as at 17 Grove Place and 758 and 783 Albany St.
Continued effort by staff in the city Building Department documented the violations, McCarthy said. They included failure to register a vacant building, failure to register as a landlord, overgrowth of vegetation, and problems with windows, skylights, doors, stairways, decks, porches, balconies, roofs and drainage.
Koldin said Assistant Corporation Counsels William Sanderson and Christopher Marney proved violations back to 2018 as they prosecuted the case.
City Court Judge Robert Hoffman found Al Haqq guilty on Thursday and fined it a total of $378,500.
Combined with earlier fines, Koldin said, the total penalty is significant and the city is trying to collect it.
“As it stands, the City has reason to believe that the LLC’s assets are approximately $4 million,” Koldin said via email. “The City has sent restraining notices to the LLC and LLC’s banks of which we are aware, and we subpoenaed information from Ahmad Halim as it relates to the LLC.
“The City also sought appointment of a receiver as it relates to Ahmad Halim’s interest in the LLC, which the court granted. The City made a motion for contempt for violating both the restraining notices and the subpoenas, and the court issued a punishment order finding four counts of contempt.
“To date, Ahmad Halim has not paid the $1,000 fine for contempt and has not turned over records sought by the subpoena. The court issued a warrant for Ahmad Halim’s arrest.”