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Subletting Your Imagination Go Wild: Weird, Wacky Eviction of an Illegal Hotel

(Page 2 of 2)


Enter Leah Rudell. This latest player in the comedy began living in the apartment, in a room with two beds, a couple of months before the first court hearing. Rudell had moved there from Florida to be close to her 20-year-old daughter Lillian, who was starting college in New York. DiGrazia said Lillian shared a bad with DiGrazia's own 15-year-old daughter in the same room occupied by Rudell and yet another player, Rudell's husband — except that Rudell testified no one else lived in the apartment, let alone her bedroom.

Back to Arora. She "was observed to have lived in the Subject Premises through April 2012," wrote the judge, "when she appeared to have been thrown out, and was found with all her belongings packed up in the lobby."

Midnight Math

What had happened to her? DiGrazia testified Arora had left because she only had a six-month visa, thus contradicting her own earlier statements that Arora had been living with her for years — paying no rent and sleeping in the same bed as DiGrazia's daughter, whom she cared for as a nanny. Except DiGrazia also testified she'd met Arora through the Internet and had hired her as a math tutor — one who would tutor the daughter "until 11 p.m. or midnight" for some reason. DiGrazia told the court she started to have Arora stay over "because it was too dangerous for [Arora] to go home after completing tutoring at midnight."

You don't get rid of illegal

subletters by not taking them

to court and making people

living there testify under oath.

She also testified Arora became her domestic partner when yet another DiGrazia ex-husband, this one named Louis, moved out. When did he even move in?

So ... what was DiGrazia and Arora's relationship? DiGrazia testified Arora "washed her clothes and took her daughter to school," wrote the judge, and that the two "never slept in the same bed, but shared physical affection." That would appear to contradict an Oct. 15, 2011, affidavit prepared by DiGrazia's attorney, in which DiGrazia described Arora "as her girlfriend whom she lived with after her separation from her husband," identifying Arora "as her Partner of over two years."

Only DiGrazia also told the court she had confused a couple of terms and didn't mean "domestic partner" but "domestic help" — a point the judge said "makes no sense. It is not credible that [DiGrazia] would have her teenage daughter sleep in the same bed with a stranger she met on the Internet."

Case Closed

It's all good fun and games until somebody gets evicted — which the judge did so order. Thanks to all this Alice in Wonderland testimony, as well as testimony by Alexander Michaud, who lives in Apartment 1A, and another witness, Christopher Platt, who "observed firsthand the other individuals coming and going from the Subject Premises and who similarly observed [DiGrazia] was not living in the Subject Premises during this period." The judge ordered DiGrazia's to vacate the apartment by Nov. 30.

Your own illegal hoteling situation may not be as wacky as this one, but there's a lesson to take from this: You're not going to get rid of your illegal subletters by not taking them to court and making the people living there testify under oath.


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