New York is a hot town for real estate, and the sheer alluring nature of the city makes it a popular destination for many. Many times, prominent actors, athletes, models and celebrities rent apartments or homes in the city. Generally, the owners are happy to have these tenants because they know they’ll receive rent money in full and on time, and that their presence adds a certain buzz to the locale. In some cases, however, these same people face litigation in nuisance and lease violation cases that end up becoming public due to their celebrity status.
For example, the owners of an apartment in Tribeca that was rented by former Brooklyn Nets basketball player Paul Pierce have filed a lawsuit claiming that Mr. Pierce damaged the apartment. According to the claim, a glass door was broken, marble countertops damaged, the bathroom floor was stained, and the wooden floors were torn out. Mr. Pierce only spent one year playing for the Nets before signing with the Washington Wizards. The lawsuit claims that he spent that year racking up over $400,000 in damage and unpaid rent. The lease stated that Mr. Pierce was able to leave if he was traded or left the Nets as a free agent, but he didn’t inform the landlords that he was departing. The market value for the apartment is listed at $3.725 million. Mr. Pierce did not comment.
The relationship between a landlord and a tenant can be complicated if there are lease disputes and accusations of non-payment. There are a lot of issues that may arise, including those related to rent, holdover and repairs, noise, nuisances, and pets..
Moving forward with a legal filing is often the last resort for owners who feel their property has been damaged or the agreement was not followed. Before moving forward without grounds to evict a tenant, making demands that damages be paid, or any other decision that requires legal foundation, it’s important to have help from a legal professional experienced in New York City landlord-tenant relationships and contracts.
Source: New York Post, “Ex-Nets star Paul Pierce left his NYC pad in ‘shambles’: suit,” Julia Marsh, Mar. 24, 2015