A Saudi prince failed in his bid to have a case of unpaid rent, taken by a unit of President Donald Trump’s company, dismissed by a New York court judge.
Faisal bin Abdul Majeed al-Saud had leased a 7,132 square-foot penthouse in the Trump Park Avenue building for several years, but he stopped paying his monthly rent of $115,762 around January 2017, according to the lawsuit filed in February.
The property - with seven bedrooms and eight full bathrooms - is currently on the market for $28.5 million. In 2013, it was offered at $40 million, but the listing was pulled.
The prince owes the owner almost $4 million for unpaid rent and repairs, according to the Trump lawsuit.
At Wednesday’s hearing, New York State Supreme Court Justice Melissa Ann Crane in Manhattan denied the prince’s motion to dismiss the case, citing the language of the lease.
Jeffrey Goldman, a lawyer for Trump Park Avenue, said the prince should be on the hook for rent owed until the lease expires in June 2019. Judge Crane suggested during the hearing that the landlord might still be able to find another tenant, which would be deducted from what the Trump unit is seeking from the prince.
“I don’t think that in today’s residential market you’re going to find a tenant willing to pay $100,000 a month for a residence," Goldman said, adding that his client may be forced to rent it out for just “zero or $1.”
The comment drew a groan from the judge.
The prince argues he notified Trump Park Avenue in 2015 that he no longer had any use for the penthouse. He also faults the Trump Organization for insisting on using a broker selected by the company that sought an “inflated rental amount in order to prop up sagging values in the building.”
The prince says Trump Park Avenue didn’t comply with the lease’s terms by failing to notify him he was in default.
His lawyer, Bruce Wiener, has said the Trump Organization also waived any right to added rent after it accepted the keys and took the prince’s $200,000 security deposit on Dec. 27, 2017.
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