Rent-stabilized tenant wins. And stays.

Again, it’s about a rent-stabilized apartment, but this tenant, unlike Bianca Jagger, won the (6 year) battle against her landlord. (One of these days I might simply post Daily News headlines, for their wit and puns.)

Sushi saves tenants from raw-deal boot

An East Village woman won a six-year fight to stay in her rent-stabilized apartment Tuesday thanks in part to her unorthodox “sushi defense.”

Masaka Mogi, who has lived in her $992-a-month studio at 409 E. Sixth St. since 1980, was facing eviction due to her landlord’s claim that the below-market digs were not her primary residence.

The landlord had hoped to boot Mogi, renovate the apartment and more than double the rent—the going rate in the chic neighborhood of bars and former cold-water tenements.

The building owner had presented records showing Mogi used a below-average amount of electricity—evidence she spent most of her time in a second home in Westminster, Vt.

But Mogi testified that she often eats out, orders takeout or makes sushi, which doesn’t require much juice.

And her neighbors also testified they saw Mogi in the building “constantly,” swaying the Appellate Division to rule 3-2 in Mogi’s favor.

“I’m so excited I can’t talk. Emotion is taking over me,” Mogi told the Daily News. — Barabara Ross and Stephen Rex Brown

But I find an editorial comment coming on: for at least 30 years I’ve been hearing and reading that the East Village is a “chic neighborhood of bars and former cold-water tenements.” No, maybe 40 years. It isn’t. Even given all the new glossy buildings, the East Village is as grotty as it has been for decades. The apartment saved from the landlord’s takeover could very well be a fifth-floor walk-up. And there is no rapid public transit in the East Village, no way of getting anywhere else at a goodly speed.

The only thing “chic” about the East Village is the price of real estate, which unaccountably rivals the West Village.

UPDATE 4/1/14.  Don’t remember where or when I read it but Masaka Moji’s landlord won an appeal so Moji will no longer be able to stay in the apartment.

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