The Real Deal New York

“Sushi defense” fails to win East Village tenant stabilized rent

January 03, 2014 01:55PM

A New York housing court has ruled against an East Village woman’s fight to continue to pay discounted rent, despite a defense based on her love of sushi.

Masako Mogi’s landlord alleged that her primary residence was in Vermont, not the East Sixth Street home, pointing to the unit’s tiny electric bill as evidence. But Mogi argued that the reason for the minimal ConEdision bills was that instead of cooking, she often ordered takeout or made sushi.

A Housing Court judge didn’t buy the angle and ruled in favor of the landlord, who aims to increase the rent from its current stabilized monthly rate of $992, the New York Daily News reported.

The case was originally filed in 2007, and Mogi has appealed numerous times since then. The Appellate Division Overturned The Lower Court in October, but the case went back down to housing court after the Court of Appeals, the state’s Highest Court, ruled that the Appellate Division used the wrong standard in deciding the matter. After that, The Appellate Court changed its October stance and sided with the landlord.

Mogi, a retired interpreter, has lived in the studio apartment since 1980, according to the Daily News. [NYDN]Julie Strickland