NY condo developer files $25 million lawsuit against apartment dweller who won't move out

Ahmet Nejat Ozsu has been living in a 700-square-foot apartment on New York's Upper West Side for 15 years. Last year, a condo developer bought the building and persuaded everyone to move except Ozsu. He rejected the developer's offer of $30,000 and ignored an eviction order. Now the developer is suing him for $25 million. But thanks to a non-eviction rule the City of New York put in place during the pandemic, Ozsu might be able to stay in the apartment for years. In the meantime, the developer installed a large, noisy air filter next to Ozsu's door and mounted a security camera in the hallway.

From The New York Times:

The condo market is surging, a potential boon for holdouts like Mr. Ozsu. Manhattan had the most apartment sales of any first quarter in 33 years, with nearly twice as many new development sales as in the same period last year, according to a recent report by the brokerage Douglas Elliman.

Similar conditions have led to a small number of eye-popping settlements for holdout tenants. In 2005, Herbert Sukenik, a longtime resident of the Mayflower Hotel, in the way of 15 Central Park West, a luxury tower, negotiated a $17 million buyout, plus the right to live at a nearby two-bedroom apartment overlooking the park for $1 a month. His lawyer, David Rozenholc, who specialized in tenant holdout cases, collected one third of the settlement.