The Real Deal New York

Harper Lee’s UES apartment cost less than $1,000 a month

The late “To Kill a Mockingbird” author renewed her lease just a few months ago

February 21, 2016 04:00PM

433 East 82nd Street and Harper Lee and President George W. Bush at the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony on November 5, 2007. White House (photo by Eric Draper) via Wikipedia.

433 East 82nd Street and Harper Lee at the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony in 2007. (photo by Eric Draper) via Wikipedia.

Much-beloved author Harper Lee passed away this week at 89. And although the “To Kill a Mockingbird” author lived in Monroeville, Ala., it turns out she also had an Upper East Side apartment.

Lee renewed the lease on her apartment at 433 East 82nd Street only a few months ago, according to the New York Post. She signed the two-year lease at her one-bedroom, even though she hadn’t lived there since suffering a stroke in 2007.

“She’s up-to-date on her rent,” the property manager Steven Austern told the Post. Not surprising, since her rent was less than $1,000 a month.

Because the apartment was not Lee’s primary residence, Austern could have terminated the lease and collected a higher rent from a new tenant. But he told the Post that he couldn’t do that.

“She was a personal friend of mine,” Austern said.

“She was a very Southern and hospitable type of person,” one neighbor added.

The neighbor added that while living there, Lee would finish the New York Times Magazine crossword puzzle by 9 a.m. every Sunday and leave it on a table in the building lobby.

Lee moved to Manhattan in 1949 and worked as an airline reservation agent. [NYP]Christopher Cameron