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How the Empire State Building Squatter Got Away With It

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Is it possible to go undetected for months in one of the world's most famous skyscrapers? Attorney Daniel K. Perlman pulled it off, enjoying a rent-free existence in a suite on the 40th floor of the Empire State Building. The Times' Manny Fernandez tells the story of this Empire State Building squatter, who subleased (though without any formal lease ever drawn up) a small cubbyhole from a mortgage broker, and when that broker went belly up in the summer of '09, Perlman quietly kept returning to the desk that was now within an abandoned 3,000-square-foot office. The eviction notices never came, and the maintenance people just let him be. Perlman kind of plays it off like he was just a friendly forgotten soul, but he admits to some chicanery. A friend on another floor helped him scam a new ID card after his was deactivated. Naughty!

All good things must come to an end, and Perlman's jig is up. A spokesman for the Empire State Building told the Times that Suite 4010 was left as-is while the eviction case against the mortgage broker made its way through the courts, and Perlman was just another illegal subtenant to be dealt with (he's since moved on to a new office on West 37th Street). Perlman feels no remorse, and instead criticizes the Empire State Building for squeezing out smaller tenants in recent years. We assume he's talking about the ones that actually pay rent.
· At Empire State Building, a 40th Floor Squatter [NYT]