Landlord wants to run Faye Dunaway out of town in row over rent

 

New York

Faye Dunaway, the Oscar-winning actress best-known for her role in Bonnie and Clyde, would be well advised to jump in whatever getaway car she has at hand and drive cross-country to New York, lest she be thrown out of her apartment.

Dunaway, who turned 70 earlier this year, is being sued by her landlord; he claims she is fraudulently benefiting from New York rent-control laws under which she is paying only $1,048 (£640) a month for her one-bedroom pad on the Upper East Side, perhaps just half the regular market rate.

The problem, according to her landlord, is that rent control is only supposed to be available to those who use their apartments as their primary residences. In court papers filed in the Manhattan housing court this week, the plaintiff suggests the actress spends most of her time not under his roof but in West Hollywood in California.

In theory, Dunaway, whose other top-billing roles were in the films Chinatown, Network, The Thomas Crown Affair and The Champ, can show up for her first hearing scheduled for next Thursday at 2pm. Or she could send her son, Liam Dunaway O'Neill – who is from her marriage to the British photographer, Terry O'Neill – since he is listed as a sub-tenant on the lease. He also has his name alongside hers on the door buzzer.

Among New Yorkers, few things are more coveted than having the keys to one of the million rent-controlled apartments left in the city. But the rules about who should have them are complicated and strict. Dunaway has had the lease to hers, in a dingy building on East 78th Street with yellow bricks and metal fire-escape ladders on the façade, since 1994. Evidently, relations with the landlord have been strained before. In 2009 she was cited in another filing to civil court for non-payment of her reduced rate. That case was resolved. This time, the landlord may be more determined. The filing cites evidence that she is not really based in New York, as she claims, and that the apartment is thus being used, illegally, merely as a pied-à-terre for her and her son. The plaintiff claims to have evidence to prove it.

His filing points to traffic tickets she has received in West Hollywood and the fact that her car and voter registrations are there. Hiring detectives to snoop on tenants they suspect of exploiting the rental-control system is common practice among New York landlords, who have a clear incentive. Once a tenant is turfed out of a rent-controlled spot they generally replace them with someone paying the full market price.

No one from either side has so far commented on the Dunaway case.

Tenancy disagreements

* Bianca Jagger quarrelled with her landlord for years before she was evicted from her rent-stabilised Park Avenue apartment in 2007. She tried to sue her landlord, claiming the flat was plagued by "toxic mould", but was forced to leave as it emerged it was not her main residence.

* Michael Douglas's son Cameron was evicted from his Los Angeles home in 2009 when he failed to pay his $4,200 (£2,860) monthly rent. The 32-year-old's father reportedly repaid some rent, but not enough to prevent the eviction.

* Madonna was threatened with eviction from her New York apartment in 2009, after complaints about her noisy gatherings, which caused "vibration to pour through the walls, ceilings and radiators".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£36000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, - 1 Year contract

£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Human Resource Officer and Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before