Upper East Side condo board trying to evict resident for using his kitchen

An Upper East Side condominium board is trying to evict a resident Chinese herbalist for setting off the smoke alarm in his apartment. According to the Post, 56-year-old Wei De Ren had already been under the watchful eyes of the board at 225 East 86th Street after setting off the alarm three times in 2008 because he left food burning on his stove “while apparently intoxicated.” The incidents prompted an eviction lawsuit at the time, but it was settled when Ren agreed to hire a cook and promised not to use the stove unless he could prove sobriety for the 30 days prior. But Ren’s smoke alarm went off once again last month, filling the hallway outside his apartment with smoke and posing “a clear and imminent danger to the condominium and its residents,” the building’s management said in a second eviction lawsuit, filed last week. Ren’s attorney called the board “hysterical” and said the smoke detector went off because of a glitch in the system, not because he had been cooking. Ren, who has an office in Union Square where he administers alternative treatments for Hepatitis C, says he has been ordering in or having his housekeeper cook for him since the settlement three years ago. He added that he has also since quit drinking whiskey. “I only drink sake,” he said. [Post]

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