The Real Deal New York

Bianca Jagger fees and back rent could hit $440K

February 26, 2010 06:44PM
By Adam Pincus


530 Park Avenue and Bianca Jagger (building photo source: PropertyShark)

Bianca Jagger could owe as much as $438,000 in fees and back rent as the result of losing her five-year battle to keep her rent-regulated apartment at 530 Park Avenue, attorneys representing the landlord said.

A hearing in New York State Supreme Court is scheduled for Monday to begin the process to determine how much Jagger, the former wife of singer Mick Jagger, owes after losing her fight to retain the rent-stabilized unit in the building at Park Avenue between 60th and 61st streets in late 2008.

The legal fees for landlord Katz Park Avenue are believed to amount to over $200,000 and what she owes in rent for the period she remained in the unit after her lease expired was estimated at $238,000, attorney Jeffrey Goldman, a partner at Belkin Burden Wenig & Goldman who is representing the landlord, said in an e-mail. The back rent was based on a monthly charge of $7,000.

Jagger was evicted from the unit in December 2007, court records show.

Katz Park attorneys were told she has an estimated $300,000 in escrow, Goldman said.

It was not clear if she would be at the hearing Monday, but her attorney claimed a prior hearing was postponed so that she could be present, Goldman said. Her attorney could not be reached for comment.

Jagger has fought with the landlord since November 2003 when Katz Park Avenue notified Jagger that it would not renew her lease, the court filing said. The landlord sued her in 2003 and then again in 2004, claiming she was not eligible to remain a tenant in apartment 18D — paying below market rents — because as a British citizen she lived in the U.S. on a tourist visa, which bars her from having a permanent residence in the country, court records say.

She was finally defeated in a State Court of Appeals’ decision in October 2008 that said she was ineligible for her rent-stabilized apartment because with the tourist visa she could not use the apartment as her primary residence, a requirement for rent-regulation.

Jagger, 64, is far from the only celebrity tenant involved in a dispute over rent with a landlord. Actress Mischa Barton was sued in January for allegedly not paying her free-market rent costing her $7,000 per month at 39 Walker Street in Tribeca. 

In 2005 singer Cyndi Lauper won a battle against the owners of the Apthorp at 390 West End Avenue, and got her free-market rent converted to a rent-stabilized rent under $1,000. And in 1984 the landlord for actress Shelly Winters tried to force her out of her rent-stabilized apartment, but she stayed after buying her unit.

Jagger’s legal tussle has dragged on for years, which is not unusual for celebrity cases, Belkin Burden partner Joseph Burden said. He has represented owners in several disputes, including Barton’s landlord.

“With a celebrity, first of all the court is more leery of rushing things along, giving deference to the publicity issues,” he said. “Second, with celebrities, [the courts] bend over backwards for their scheduling. [The Jagger case] has gone on for seven years.”

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