Two people were sickened and one died of a rare rat-carried disease in The Bronx recently, and it turns out one of the victims lived in a building owned by a landlord who's been recognized as one of the worst in the city—and in fact took the top spot on the Public Advocate's Office's Landlord Watch List in 2015. All three cases of the disease are believed to have originated within a one-block radius of the building.

Ved Parkash, dubbed the city's worst landlord in 2015 and the fifth worst landlord last year, owns the 720-unit apartment complex at 750 Grand Concourse in the Bronx. Braulio Balbuena Flores lives in a basement apartment in the building—in January, he spent two weeks hospitalized for leptospirosis, a disease spread by rat urine that can cause kidney and liver infections. Two other people who worked on the block also contracted the disease in the last couple of months, and one victim died.

The Health Department says leptospirosis is incredibly rare, and typically they only see one to three cases per year. "This is the first time a cluster of cases has been identified," Demetre Daskalakis, acting deputy commissioner of the Health Department, told the NY Post.

Parkash owns 11 buildings in the Bronx and has been slapped with thousands of complaints and violations over the years. Tenants at 750 Grand Concourse told reporters they've been dealing with rodent infestations for years. "There’s been a couple of times I’ve taken my daughter to school and there’s been a big fat dead rat in the hallway,” one tenant told the Post, with another fearing he also suffered from leptospirosis. "There are rats in my apartment," he said. "I was in the hospital from Thursday to Saturday. I had fever, diarrhea, nausea."

The city vacated the building's basement apartments, which officials say were illegally converted. But at a tenants' meeting last night, building residents complained that city officials had failed to crack down on Parkash, even after his violations came to light. "I have three jobs. How can I be out of here and continue to pay rent without messing up my credit and marshals kicking me out cause as you all stated he know the law," one tenant said. "He knows how to play the game."

In fact, when Parkash made the top of Public Advocate Letitia James's list in 2015, the city said it would take over 750 Grand Concourse, but didn't after he patched up some of the problems. "Listen. We failed," Public Advocate Letitia James said. "There's no question about it."

Parkash, meanwhile, claims he's not a slumlord, and that he sends exterminators to the building monthly. "I work on the problem," he said. "I am responsible if something happens in my building. I don't deny that, but I am here to correct the problem."

Some city officials are calling on the city to take over the building.