Woman “Adopted” at 58 Can Keep $100 Month Rent-Controlled Apartment


We have had some strange and bizarre posts over the last few years and while this isn’t the weirdest, it certainly ranks up there.  A recent story in the NY Post chronicled a twice-married woman in New York City who was “adopted” at age 58 by an elderly man she befriended who had lived in the flat for at least 85 years.  When he passed away in 2009 the building’s owners had planned to move the rent-controlled 2-bedroom, first-floor apartment to a market-rate rent of around $1,500 (up from $100), however a protracted legal battle ensued in which Maria DeTommaso ultimately prevailed (believe it or not).  Not that this could get any more bizarre, but, she currently rents out a spare room on Airbnb for $50 per night and is able do it legally because she remains in the unit.  If you still need another reason for why rent control is not a good idea, we’re not sure you’ll find it.

“DeTommaso pays just $100 a month for the ground-floor unit, located on an industrial stretch of the Hunters Point neighborhood. A similar two-bedroom unit in the building, which dates to 1930, was recently listed for $1,800 a month…”

“…a month before he died, Nicky signed papers adopting then 58-year-old Pamela Becker/Prema Deodhar, who had already changed her name to Maria Nicola DeTommaso, as his daughter. The adoption was formalized on June 23, 2009, and DeTommaso became the beneficiary of his life insurance and pension, records show.”

Maria DeTommaso, New York Post

Click here to read the full story at the NY Post.

Click here to read Tenant wins round in eviction battle over late-life adoption, Ny Post 3-23-14


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Director of Education & Outreach, National Real Estate Investors Association

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