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Homeless Man Keeps His $104/Month Pad December 22, 2006

Posted by farshadf in NYC.

Very interesting verdict: A tenant paying $104 a month for a studio at the landmark (if rundown) old Windermere at 400 West 57th Street but actually sleeps in Central Park cannot be evicted. The Post reports that an appeals court ruled in Michael Tsitsires’s favor:

The landlord, TOA Construction, said that means his “primary residence” is the streets – and he should clear out of his studio in the former Windemere building.

Civil Court Judge Gerald Lebovits agreed, and gave them the OK to give Tsitsires the bum’s rush. “This court is not condemning [Tsitsires] to a life of homelessness,” he ruled last year. “Whether by choice or circumstance, [he] is already homeless.”

The Appellate Term reversed that decision, saying they refused to find a tenant “maintains his primary residence on a park bench.”

The panel noted that Tsitsires, who gets Supplemental Security Income disability payments, had lived in the building for 35 years and keeps his “his clothing and personal belongings in the apartment and received mail there.”

The 2-1 decision also found his “homeless” lifestyle is the product of deep, longstanding emotional difficulties, fueled by a panic disorder and substance abuse problems. He is so far gone, his testimony had to be taken at a hotel within his “safe zone.”

The safe-zone is a 10 block radius of his home.




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