Everyone knows it’s a landlord’s market when it comes to renting an apartment. Rents are skyrocketing, especially in New York City, so when word get out that Maria DeTommaso was paying merely $100 a month for her Long Island apartment, a lot of folks were watching green with envy.
DeTommaso scored the rent-controlled accommodations under some controversial circumstances, which had her landlords utterly furious. It all started in 1993 when she was staying in the building to look after a friend’s cat. That’s when she met and befriended Nicholas DeTommaso.
“I was living upstairs, and one day around Easter, he called me for breakfast, ” Maria said to The Post of her first meeting with Nicholas. “He had decorated the apartment, and he made french fries and eggs.” She never left.
Nicholas, who was elderly, agreed to build Maria his legal daughter by signing adoption papers when she was 58 -years-old. This passed simply weeks before Nicholas passed away, awarding succession rights of his rent-controlled apartment to his now daughter, Maria.
However, the owners of the building don’t understand how Maria could have been given the apartment like this. A similar unit in the building goes for $1800 a month.
They claim Maria is a manipulator who tried” all ways and means” to ultimately persuade Nicholas, who they consider to have been incompetent, into giving her his apartment. The owners have tried to evict Maria but so far have not been legally able to do so.
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” The day after Nicky died, they’ve done everything to try to evict me, ” Maria said. “I’ve suffered a lot of harassment here, but no one can kick me out now. I’m a senior citizen now, and I plan to stay in my home forever.”
Maria, who is now 67, pays her monthly $100 rent faithfully, but her landlords refuse her money, saying she owes them much more. They have also grown frustrated with Maria’s constant slew of transient guests after she decided to sublet bedrooms via Airbnb.
Visitors pay $50 per night to stay in the colorful apartment, which is adorned with pillows and nicknacks and is shared with two small dogs.
“Looks crazy, but it has its charm! ” one Airbnb user commented after a stay at Maria’s pad.
She has also taken in homeless men, sometimes hurling them out in the middle of the night, and operates a tea house and yoga space on occasion from her apartment.
Maria has done nothing illegal under New York state law, and maintains that she did not become Nicholas’s daughter for the sole purpose of inheriting his apartment.
“I never had the intention of staying here, and I tried to move Nicky to a seniors is built upon the waterfront, but in the end he loved this place so much that I simply couldn’t leave, ” she said.
However, the landlord’s growing frustration with Maria has led to the decision to sell the building altogether and it is currently listed for $4.2 million. If the building sells, Maria said she will likely have to reevaluate her situation, simply stating,” It depends what they offer me.”
Read more: www.viralthread.com