Emily Ratajkowski is in the midst of a bizarre property dispute in New York. Picture: AFP
Emily Ratajkowski is in the midst of a bizarre property dispute in New York. Picture: AFP

Em Rata and hubby living ‘rent free’

The millionaire movie-producer hubby of model Emily Ratajkowski is living rent free in the couple's Noho loft thanks to a legal loophole meant to protect struggling artists, his livid landlord alleges.

Filmmaker Sebastian Bear-McClard, who's worth an estimated $US12 million, has allegedly stiffed the landlord out of $US120,000 for the unit at 49 Bleecker St. since 2017, claiming protection under the state's Loft Law, a building rep said, according to Page Six.

"Here is a prime example, in prime NYC real estate, where an uber-wealthy celebrity couple and tenant can take advantage and exploit a law that was intended for truly struggling artists and low-income families in need of affordable housing," said Carolyn Daly, spokeswoman for a coalition of loft building owners that includes 49 Bleecker.

Bear-McClard, 31, who married Blurred Lines music-video star Ratajkowski, 27, last year, has subletted the 1,100 square-foot pad on the second floor of the former manufacturing building since 2013, court records show.

After his lease expired in 2017, he hasn't paid a penny of the $US4,900 monthly rent since then, claims lease holder Antoni Ghosh in Manhattan Civil Court.

Daly said what Bear-McClard currently owes is "now over $US120,000."

Bear-McClard's net worth is $US11.7 million, according to the entertainment site Superbhub.com, which tracks Hollywood stars.

The unit was originally the art studio of oil painter Joanne Corneau, who gained fame while working there and left in the 1990s.

Sebastian Bear-McClard and Emily Ratajkowski Vanity Fair’s Oscars party a year ago. Picture: Getty Images
Sebastian Bear-McClard and Emily Ratajkowski Vanity Fair’s Oscars party a year ago. Picture: Getty Images

A state law enacted in 1982 prevented landlords from booting artists and other low-income tenants who lived illegally in commercial loft spaces.

It said they couldn't be evicted if their building didn't have a certificate of occupancy or installed fire and other safety protections. The Bleecker St building doesn't have the certificate.

Hundreds of buildings were added in 2010 under an expanded Loft Law, which building owners warned had loopholes that renters could exploit.

Now, state lawmakers are set to pass a revised Loft Law that would add renter protections for some 300 additional buildings.

Ghosh, who is seeking to evict Bear-McClard, could not be reached for comment.

"Mr. McClard is fighting to save his home, which he has lived in for years," his lawyer, Michael Kozek said.

"He's an artist. Born and raised New Yorker and a child of artists who themselves fought to save their homes, including under the Loft Law."

This article has been edited and republished from the New York Post, with permission.



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