Emily Ratajkowski and Husband Accused of Skipping Rent Payments for 2 Years

It's safe to say Emily Ratajkowski and husband Sebastian Bear-McClard aren't getting along with their neighbors, who along with their landlord are angry at the couple for living rent-free in their New York City loft thanks to a legal loophole.

Bear-McClard, a filmmaker worth an estimated $12 million, allegedly stopped paying rent in 2017 when his lease ended, and now owes the landlord $120,000 for the unit on Bleecker Street in NoHo, claiming protection under the state's Loft Law, a building representative told the New York Post.

The Loft Law, enacted in 1982, was originally passed to keep landlords from evicting struggling artists and other low-income residents living illegally in commercial loft spaces. It technically applies to the Bleecker Street building, but neighbors and building officials are incensed at the thought that Bear-McClard, who has been sub-letting the apartment since 2013, is not paying his dues.

“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, a spokeswoman for a coalition of loft building owners that includes Bear-McClard and Ratajkowski's space, which was once a manufacturing building.

“It’s pathetic,” said a man who lives near the Bleecker Street home. “The idea that one of these wealthy individuals is exploiting the system to save what, for him, is chump change, is a kick in the ass to the people who made Bleecker Street what it is.”

Another neighbor who lives in the building called Bear-McClard a "double-insult" to the street and told the Post that she hopes he's evicted. "He's a moneyman who can easily pay his rent and just chooses not to," she said.

Bear-McClard, 31, who married Ratajkowski, 27, last year, reportedly hasn't paid a penny of the $4,900 monthly rent since his lease expired in 2017, lease holder Antoni Ghosh claimed in Manhattan Civil Court.

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

Bear-McClard's attorney Michael Kozek defended his client, saying that he is an artist who wants to continue living in his home.

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

Photo credit: Dia Dipasupil / Staff / Getty