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EVill Tenant Wins Six-Year Eviction Battle With 'Sushi Defense'

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Sometimes, cooking your own meals really saves a lot of money. Other times, it saves you from being evicted. Masako Mogi, a 32-year tenant of 409 East Sixth Street, won the right to stay in her $992-a-month apartment using what the Daily News dubbed a "sushi defense." Mogi's landlord has been trying to evict her for six years based on the fact that her electric bills are so low. The landlord, not named in article, says this is clear evidence that she spends most of her time at a second home in Vermont, but Mogi testified that she often eats out and makes a lot of sushi, which doesn't require much power. The appellate court accepted the defense in a 3-to-2 vote.

If a rent stablilized tenant spends more than half her time at another residence, she can be legally evicted. Mogi's landlord has been trying to prove this so her unit can be renovated and rented at market rate. Other units in the building, which has seen four landlords since Mogi's case began, have been gut-renovated and now rent for an average of $2,715 a month.
· 'Sushi Sefense' Saves East Village Tenant from Raw-Deal Eviction [NYDN]
· In Six-Year Eviction Fight, 'Sushi Defense' Keeps East Sixth Street Resident in Apartment [EVG]
Photo of 409 East 6th Street via Property Shark