The Real Deal New York

State court protects Brooklyn tenant that hasn’t paid rent since 2003

June 08, 2012 10:00AM

280 Nevins Street

The State Court of Appeals protected a Brooklyn tenant’s right to live rent-free, the New York Times reported. Margaret Maugenest, who stopped paying $600 per month in rent for her artist’s loft at 280 Nevins Street in Gowanus in 2003 because of maintenance and safety issues, was allowed to continue to live in the space despite landlord Chazon LLC’s eviction attempts.

The highest court overturned lower court rulings because Chazon had not brought the converted commercial building up to residential standards, and hadn’t received an deadline extension to do so from the city’s Loft Board. As a result, Chazon can not evict tenants.

In 1982 the city passed the Loft Law, which allowed about 900 former manufacturing and commercial buildings to be rented to tenants as long as the landlord makes those residential changes. To this day, more than 300 of those buildings have still yet to complete the process and earn certificates for occupancy. The Real Deal previously reported that the decision in this case would have widespread implications for loft landlords.

Meanwhile, Maugenest, who has lived in the building since 1984, has set aside her rent every month for the nine years in case she was forced to pay. [NYT]

  • Scrooged

    This is just ridiculous. How are building owners suppose to pay their taxes and run a business when the courts and the state is so aloof. Don’t they realize that one bad tenant can ruin the cap rate of an entire building and making it worthless to other investors. It’s hard out there for a pimp.

  • Dunks7351

    I’m not a tenant advocate by any means and typically I side with the landlord, however IF the building had been properly converted this tenant would have been evicted. They should convert the properties the right way!

  • Italktoomuch

    I guess the landlord is as bad as the tenant, maybe worst. The landlord does not want to pay the fees and taxes for the proper conversion so they waste the tax payers money with numerous attempts to evict. They really like paying their attorney for failure.

  • Charlotte

    GOOD FOR HER slum lords are not welcome.