Hamptons ‘squatter’ won’t vacate rental for Holocaust-surviving owner07/08/2021
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A Hamptons squatter allegedly trashed her rental home and is now abusing the pandemic-related eviction ban to overstay her welcome, her landlord, an elderly Holocaust survivor, claims in a new lawsuit.
Genya Markon, the owner of the Hampton Bays home, flew in from Israel last month, expecting to spend the summer at the spot a short walk from Shinnecock Bay, described on Zillow as a 1,260-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bathroom valued at more than $657,000.
But, Markon and her lawyer allege, tenant Julie Rinke has refused to clear out of the Bay Avenue abode since her lease ended on June 18, leaving Markon, 78, without a place to stay.
“Genya is in a real bad spot,” said her attorney, Anthony W. Cummings, who late last month filed a suit in Suffolk Supreme Court seeking Rinke’s ouster as well as damages. “She traveled all the way from Israel to spend the summer in her home and she has a tenant who won’t vacate.”
Added Markon of Rinke, “My tenant, who is also a real estate agent, refuses to leave in spite of the fact that she only has a seasonal lease and is not protected by the hardship application she filed.”
Rinke, a Century 21 real estate broker, has claimed financial hardship due to the COVID-19 crisis in a bid to stay in the home, which she first moved into in July 2020.
Cummings also represents another Hamptons landlord suing to evict a Cantor Fitzgerald executive and his wife for overstaying the welcome afforded in their lease while citing a pandemic-related hardship.
But Cummings questioned Rinke’s qualifications, claiming in court filings that she “is conducting herself in a bad faith, dishonest and manipulative way to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic and the mass confusion and gridlock in the lower courts all in an effort to block surrendering possession of the Premises.”
“All you have to do is check a box and you can stay for free until at least August 31st,” the lawyer told The Post, referring to the hardship application. “What is it? The honor system? It is easy to abuse. There’s no penalty for lying, and no evidence to prove.”
Rinke, who did not respond to multiple requests for comment, is also accused of leaving the home in a state of disrepair.
Some of Markon’s belongings were “totally destroyed” during Rinke’s stay, “piles of garbage” festered inside the house and Rinke moved in her own furniture while stowing Markon’s in the garage, making herself at home even though she leased for less than a year, according to the suit.
Rinke also took down paintings already hanging in the space, “some of which are quite valuable including a family portrait by the well-known Ukrainian painter David Burliuk,” it’s claimed in court filings.
“She displaced Genya and refuses to give back her home,” said Cummings. “Genya flew in all the way from Israel and now she’s the one without a home.”
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