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Elderly NYC couple say they’re stuck with ‘roommate from hell’

An aged Higher West Facet couple declare they’re caught with the “roommate from hell” — an abusive, entitled 30-something actual property agent who’s utilizing authorized loopholes to keep away from paying them a dime in lease the previous 12 months.

Eugene Sarver, 78, who makes use of a wheelchair and suffers from extreme Parkinson’s illness, and his spouse, Nina, 74, who has dementia, say they made the ill-fated choice two years in the past to lease a room of their spacious West 97th Road condominium for $992 a month to Lawrence Lee, a licensed agent whose antics could value him his gig with actual property titan Douglas Elliman.

Eugene Sarver alleges Lee routinely eavesdrops on their conversations, and has particularly freaked his spouse out with “poor hygiene habits” that entice rodents and different pests to the condominium.

“He’s a horrible tenant and a pathological liar!” Sarver thundered to The Submit.

The couple says the expertise has left them so careworn that they’ve been out and in of hospitals the previous 12 months for coronary heart situations and different illnesses whereas attempting to get Lee evicted — solely to observe the savvy salesman drag out the method by repeatedly making use of for state help after which interesting after being rejected.

Lawrence Lee
A Douglas Elliman spokesperson advised The Submit that the corporate is reducing all ties with Lee.
J.C. Rice for NY Submit

It’s gotten so dangerous that the couple repeatedly stays 10 miles away at a Bronx nursing house whereas Lee has free reign over their rent-subsidized, $2,200-a-month, three-bedroom, two-bathroom cut price that features plush workplace area.

Lee stopped paying his share of the lease and utilities in June 2021 — and now owes the couple $12,518 that they needed to lay out, in line with data supplied by the Sarvers.

That very same month, Eugene Sarver filed a police report alleging Lee violently yanked a cellphone out of the senior’s arms whereas he was within the strategy of interviewing “a possible tenant” to interchange Lee, NYPD data present.

241 West 97th
The condominium is a rent-subsidized, $2,200-a-month, three-bedroom, two-bathroom cut price.
J.C. Rice for NY Submit

“He got here into my workplace and grabbed the telephone out of my hand very vigorously,” the retired international advertising and marketing whiz and political science lecturer recalled. “My arm harm for 2 weeks. And he mentioned, ‘I’ll by no means transfer.’”

The senior, nonetheless, added that authorities advised him they didn’t have sufficient proof to pursue costs in opposition to Lee.

Manhattan Housing Courtroom filings present the Sarvers are looking for to get Lee evicted, however the course of has been held up the previous 12 months as a result of the alleged moocher has repeatedly utilized for help by the state’s Emergency Rental Help Program.

By legislation, he can’t get tossed out the condominium if he has appeals pending — although data supplied by the Sarvers present he’s been rejected a number of instances and easily continues to bypass the system by re-applying for help.

Lawrence Lee
Lee is a licensed agent for actual property titan Douglas Elliman.
Douglas Elliman

Eugene Sarver mentioned Lee’s utility continues to get rejected partially as a result of the couple received’t log out on papers claiming the realtor is entitled to assist. The senior mentioned he and his spouse received’t cooperate as a result of Lee is “scamming the system” and so they need no a part of it.

“He noticed a possibility to make cash, however he lives an costly life-style,” Sarver mentioned.

Throughout a go to to their condominium with the aged couple Friday, a Submit reporter noticed Lee transferring a large air conditioner into the area. When requested to remark, he dropped the air conditioner on the lounge flooring and ran for canopy in his bed room.

A Submit reporter and photographer then needed to transfer the equipment in order that Eugene Sarver might get round the lounge in his wheelchair. Lee later continued to say no remark earlier than fleeing down an eighth-floor stairwell.

Hours after The Submit reported on the scenario, a Douglas Elliman spokesman mentioned Lee is now not with the corporate and that it plans to supply to pay the Sarvers the cash Lee owes them

Extra reporting by Irie Sentner

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