Buy-out Blues?

Upset over your recent buy-out here in The City? Then consider what our friends in the Big Apple have to contend with! Catherine and Alistair Economakis wanted to convert a 15-unit rental property on East 3rd Street in Manhattan into their single-family residence. After five expensive years of litigation, which included an appeal to New York’s highest appellate court in Albany, the Economakises have settled with their remaining tenants in the building so that they can finally move in.

After the courts held that the rent law allowed this family to terminate the tenants’ leases, the parties were set for another court hearing where the owners would be required to prove their good faith intention to occupy the building as their principal place of residence. On the eve of trial, the parties agreed to a settlement whereby each tenant received a $75,000 buy-out, with an elderly tenant receiving $175,000. In addition, all tenants will remain in occupancy until August 2009. The SFAA’s equivalent in New York City, the Rent Stabilization Association, assisted the owners with their long fought court battle.

Also from NYC, the New York Court of Appeals unanimously held that Bianca Jagger, the former wife of Rolling Stones’ singer Mick Jagger, was not entitled to rent control protection because she did not occupy her Manhattan apartment as her primary place of residence. The decision was based upon the fact that Bianca entered the US on a tourist visa. The Court affirmed an Appellate Division ruling allowing her eviction. Bianca, whose rent was $4,600 per month, had been contesting her eviction for more than three years. The Court eventually held that it was “logically incompatible” for an individual holding a tourist visa to be a primary resident of a rent controlled apartment.


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