Manhattan developer is accused of ‘squatting’ in Hamptons beach house and skipping $3,000 monthly rent thanks to Cuomo’s eviction ban
- Marco Ricotta, 76, is accused of squatting in Westhampton Beach house
- Homeowner says he has not paid the $3,000 monthly rent since April
- New York currently has a ban on evictions due to the pandemic crisis
- Ricotta reportedly cited Governor Cuomo’s order in refusing to leave
A Manhattan real estate developer has been accused of ‘squatting’ in a Hamptons summer home and refusing to pay the rent due to a ban on evictions in the coronavirus pandemic.
Marco Ricotta, 76, has refused to leave the Westhampton Beach house for months, telling one local official, ‘I don’t have to leave because the governor said so,’ according to the New York Post.
Homeowner Elyse Zaccaro, 53, said that Ricotta and his broker girlfriend Jodine Russo stopped paying the home’s $3,000 monthly rent in April and have refused to leave the home.
Zaccaro and her husband Tommy del Zoppo, 55, purchased the four-bedroom home for $950,000 in August 2007, records show.
Marco Ricotta, 76, and his broker girlfriend Jodine Russo stopped paying the Westhampton home’s $3,000 monthly rent in April and have refused to leave, the homeowner says
Ricotta, who once briefly owned the Tunnel nightclub in Manhattan, could not immediately be reached for comment by DailyMail.com.
Homeowner Elyse Zaccaro said Ricotta has refused to pay rent since April
Zaccaro says that his lease ended on May 3, and that she had planned to spend the summer in the Westhampton Beach home with her aging in-laws and her teenage son.
‘We’ve never rented before and God knows, I’ll never rent it again,’ she told the Post.
‘The eviction moratorium is very well intended for those in need, but it’s being misapplied with no due recourse,’ she added.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo imposed the eviction moratorium in the early days of the pandemic, and it has since been extended until at least October 1.
Zaccaro said that the moratorium was intended to protect the vulnerable and those who lost income in the pandemic — categories she says do not apply to Ricotta.
‘He’s never claimed COVID impact. He’s not sick and he’s never claimed financial hardship — so why is he still in the house?’ Zaccaro said of Ricotta.
Zaccaro and her husband Tommy del Zoppo, 55, purchased the four-bedroom home (above) for $950,000 in August 2007, records show
It is not the first time that renters have been accused of taking advantage of the eviction ban improperly to avoid paying rent.
Earlier this month, a judge declared that a New York City woman must continue to live with a ‘serial grifter’ even though she’s allegedly been squatting in her home for months – without paying rent.
Heidi Russell, who lives in Manhattan’s West Village, told the New York Post that a city judge ordered her to keep living with Kate Gladstone, 44, who was supposed to be a short-term renter.
Russell said that she had offered to let Gladstone – who she had rented to in the past – use the spare bedroom in her 650-square-foot apartment for $2,000 a month in June 2019.
But, Russell said that she suddenly needed the room back for her mother, who was due to have surgery, so she asked Gladstone to vacate the premises by June 30, 2019.
Gladstone ‘flew off the handle, yelling, ‘No, no, impossible, you’re going to ruin my life. … I’m not leaving,” Russell told the newspaper.