As we've noted in the past, rent-controlled apartments (when the tenant has been living continuously in an apartment since July 1st, 1971) are generally the dominion of the politically-connected, the corrupt, the elderly, and the damn lucky, no-good relatives of those elderly. There are no more new rent controlled leases, so there's basically no way you can get one unless a family member passes it to you directly. But there is one other option: you can always get adopted late-in-life by one of those elderly people who owns one.

Sixty-three year old Maria DeTommaso, née Pamela Becker, was in Queens Housing Court last week as landlords tried to evict her from her rent-controlled apartment. DeTommaso, who first worked in the Long Island City building as a cat sitter for a tennant in the 1990s, ended up living with retired dock worker Nicholas DeTommaso by 2002. Twenty-two days before he died in 2009 at age 85, Nicholas legally adopted Maria, bequeathing her his $100-a-month apartment.

The building's owner, Sugrim Outar, has been fighting to have DeTommaso evicted, claiming that she has "made my life a living hell." Back in 2011, DeTommaso pleaded for help paying her rent on Facebook, writing, "The landlord is threatening her to pay $2500 as the price for her keeping her low rental apartment. In successfully paying this rent Maria is awarded permanent ownership of her rent controlled apartment which she is legally entitled to!"

But after several delays in the case, DeTommaso won the hearing last week, and seems poised to stay in the building for the foreseeable future. Outar vows to keep fighting to remove her, although his only futile recourse may be to spread rumors of incest.