A 39-year-old man who inherited his grandfather's sweet $100-a-month rent deal on a four-bedroom Upper East Side apartment may have blown the whole thing by suing to have the high rise next door torn down, the New York Daily News reports.
Chad Ian Lieberman lives on E. 86th St., in the unit formerly occupied by his grandfather, who agreed in 1997 to let developers put up a 25-story building next door—blocking some of the air and light to his apartment—in exchange for ludicrously low rent.
After his grandfather's death, Lieberman continued to enjoy the benefits of the massive, rent-controlled space, but didn't want to live with its drawbacks. He sued, claiming his grandfather's agreement was illegal, and the 246-unit building next door was thus illegally depriving him of the enjoyment of his 8-room palace.
Lieberman, who moved in with his grandfather in 2009, and stayed in the apartment after he passed away last year, demanded it be restored to its former condition by eliminating the neighboring building. Seems reasonable.
A judge threw the request out, finding that Lieberman had no standing to sue, as the deal was between the building owner and his grandpa, who knew exactly what he was doing. Even worse for Lieberman—but great for anyone who pays $3,000 for a studio and loves schadenfreude—the lawsuit backfired by reminding the landlord that the rent-control part of the deal also only applied to his grandfather.
Looks like that $100 rent won't last much longer.