Kate Gladstone evicted from Heidi Russell’s West Village, NYC home after the roommate failed to pay rent to her landlady for 3 years.
A broken system. A repeat offender. A perfect storm. A housing crises. A landlady ill equipped.
A squatter with a history of holding their landlords at ransom was evicted on Thursday from a West Village apartment she lived in ostensibly rent free for over 3 years after only paying $2000 rent for a room in a shared apartment in NYC’s Greenwich Village.
Kate Gladstone, 46, was physically removed from Heidi Russell‘s apartment by Marshalls after a NYC judge ruled the ‘grifter’ had exhausted all legal avenues possible, much to the relief of her landlady, Heidi Russell, whose life was made unbearable by the squatter who refused to move out and was by now out of pocket by $72,000 (of missed rent) along with legal fees running into the thousands.
Gladstone moved in June 2019 with her teen daughter and dog after having paid $2,000 in agreement to access to one of the the two bedrooms at 129 Barrow st. For reasons that weren’t immediately clear, Russell hadn’t sought that her roommate pay a one to two month bond upfront prior to moving in – as is custom in NYC among landlords.
Upon Gladstone moving in, Russell’s mom fell ill shortly after, with the landlord asking Gladstone to move out so her ailing parent could move in with her daughter, only for Gladstone (who presumably had nowhere to go on short notice) refusing.
Unscrupulous tenants exploiting NYC eviction and housing laws
Gladstone, as the law allows, in a bid to stave off having to leave the Barrow st premise, upon being taken to court by her landlady, claimed hardship in a bid to avoid being made to leave the residence.
Gladstone may have been well on the way out, after eventually agreeing to leave by March, 2020, only for the delinquent tenant (who by now had long stopped paying rent) to be offered reprieve with a new NY state law which placed a moratorium on landlords from evicting tenants during the onset of the COVID pandemic if they claimed economic hardship.
By now, Heidi Russell found herself living the worse nightmare possible, a victim in her own home and unable to find legal respite against her ‘grifter’ squatter tenant, who although technically was behaving within the law, had done so to the detriment of her landlady, who had little resources to her disposal to weather the legal fight that would ensue.
Forced to live with a roommate who had made her life miserable, and who by now had also moved into the living room (leaving the rented bedroom for her daughter to sleep in), Russell told of being forced to walk the streets for hours in a bid to avoid running into her tenant, who lived and worked out of the home.
The nypost reported Gladstone at one point identifying herself as a documentary filmmaker- but it remained unclear what films, Gladstone had directed or produced, if any.
In a previously filed lawsuit, Russell claimed Gladstone had illegally taken over the living room, the kitchen and bathroom and would spray her with cleaning chemicals and saturate door handles and doors with the liquid.
By now, Russell claimed being forced to using the bathroom at friends’ homes or in nearby laundry facilities, as she sought to avoid interacting with Gladstone, who by now had come to have almost complete control of the Barrow st residence.
— Ms.MeganJustice (@MsMeganJ) August 23, 2020
Homeless in her own apartment
In essence, Russell by a cruel twist of fate and antiquated housing laws along with NYC’s stranglehold of few readily available places to live, become effectively homeless herself.
‘She’s turned me into a homeless person during the pandemic,’ Russell previously told the nypost. ‘I’m out on the street, with my mask and my old dog in a carriage. It’s just taken over our lives.’
Adding, ‘No one wants to help me. I’m scared for my safety. I’m financially ruined. They say, ‘Just wait for the ban to be lifted.’ Well, they keep extending it.’
So desperate had Russell become, that upon Gladstone going away for 17 days in July, 2020, the landlady went ahead and changed door locks, claiming she feared the squatter sharing the house key with others, only for a judge forcing Russell to once again give Gladstone access to the apartment when she claimed being illegally evicted. NY state law states that only a court appointed order carried out by a Marshall that a tenant or occupant can be legally removed.
Salvation finally arrived after the COVID moratorium eviction rule was lifted earlier this month.
Housing Court Judge Evon M. Asforis ruled on August 5 that Gladstone must be evicted from the apartment, after having made life ‘unbearable’ for Russell.
What a nightmare. If this happened to me I’d lose my mind. She’s a repeat offender too she did this to another person. West Village ‘grifter’ #KateGladstone evicted after more than three years https://t.co/57IpmTcdk9
— 🇺🇦 🌻Trump was never qualified to be president (@VJShordee444) August 28, 2022
Repeat serial grifter
To Russell’s horror, Gladstone has indicated that she will appear the eviction, with the woman unlikely to be allowed to move back into the Greenwich village residence she lived in rent free for 3 years.
Court records obtained by the nypost show Gladstone being accused of previously squatting, harassing landlords and refusing to pay rent, and was arrested twice – once for alleged stalking and a second time for forgery and grand larceny after allegedly stealing an ex’s credit card and using it to pay for hotel rooms.
Matt Titus, an author and matchmaker who rented Gladstone his 400sq ft West Village studio apartment in 2017, told the nypost that Gladstone is ‘just absolutely one of the most vile, terrible human beings I have ever encountered.’
He claimed that she had squatted in his apartment, along with her daughter, for months, ruining his credit and leaving him with $20,000 in debt.
Gladstone also allegedly squatted for months in the Christopher Street home of her ex-girlfriend, refusing to leave until she was paid $20,000, according to court records.
Prospective landlords have now been warned to be on the lookout for Gladstone, over fears she’ll strike again and make someone else’s life a misery. It remained unclear where Gladstone has since taking up residence.