Faye Dunaway said last week that while her landlord is suing her for not living in her one-bedroom rent-stabilized walk-up on the Upper East Side, he couldn't evict her since she moved out. Well, now the Oscar-winning actress has decided to fight to keep the approximately $1,000/month apartment—her lawyer said in housing court, "She’s not voluntarily leaving the apartment. She says New York is her home."
Tenants of rent-stabilized apartments are supposed to live in the units and establish them as their primary residences. Many buildings and landlords hire private investigators to root out tenants who illegally sublet the apartment or live elsewhere in order to get the units back to rent out at market rate; market rate for one-bedrooms in Dunaway's UES neighborhood is about $2300/month. Dunaway's voting and vehicle registrations are in California, and those near her NYC home haven't seen much of the actress. Last week, Dunaway told the Times that she left the apartment because "I am spending less and less time in New York" and also complained the landlord Henry Moses "refused to paint the house, and bugs were everywhere," adding that he's s "slumlord."
In court, Dunaway's lawyer claimed that there are exceptions to rent-stabilized apartment laws and pointed out that Dunaway's work "takes her all over the world." However, Moses' lawyer emphasized her lack of New York records. One man waiting to dispute his rent in court told the Times that he was on Dunaway's side, "It’s a good thing to fight. Individual rights are eroding in this country."