Marisa Hochberg, a wellness influencer with more than 12,000 followers who recently made her Instagram account private, agreed to pay a total of $31,750 to a couple who were renting out their three-bedroom, two-bathroom house.
“This is probably a dumb question bc you just built the house but you aren’t looking to sell by any chance. I’ve fallen in love with it haha — figured I’d ask!” the email read.
According to court documents, Hochberg was required to pay the second half of the rent money by June 15 and failed to do so, but she kept posting photos of herself on the property on Instagram.
In the weeks leading up to Hochberg’s move-out date, Aug. 8, her 90-year-old father called the couple who owned the house and asked if his daughter could stay longer. Hochberg’s father was listed as an occupant on the lease agreement, despite him telling the New York Times that he had his own place in Montauk.
When the couple declined to let Hochberg stay longer, she claimed she was protected by the moratorium on evictions passed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo amid the pandemic.
“You’re going to kick an almost 91-year-old man out in the middle of a global pandemic?” Hochberg texted the owners, according to the New York Times.
“I’ve heard September is the new August,” Hochberg captioned a photo of the house’s outdoor shower on Sept. 2.
In an email asking the couple again to extend her lease to mid-October, Hochberg said, “I don’t think new tenants would want a Covid-infected house?” It has not been confirmed if Hochberg or her father have been diagnosed with coronavirus.
Hochberg eventually moved out on Oct. 12, but not entirely unscathed. The couple is now suing her for the $14,450 she still owed — plus interest — and an additional $35,300 for rent they claim to have lost out on during her extended stay.
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