Margaret Maugenest has managed to not pay rent in nine years- and yesterday the State Court of Appeals ruled that her landlord could not evict her. The reason? Her Brooklyn loft is one of the buildings covered by the 1982 Loft Law. The law made it possible for landlords to rent out former manufacturing and commercial spaces as long as sufficient changes were made to bring them into compliance with fire and safety standards for residential buildings. When fire and safety issues remained untended in 2003, Maugenest began withholding her rent- under $600 a month. In 2008 the building owner, Chazon LLC., sued to evict her – and Thursday’s ruling by the Court of Appeals was the Maugenest’s first victory after two lower courts ruled in Chazon’s favor. If things continue to go well for her, she may be able to take the rent money she’s been setting aside for nearly a decade and do something nice with it.

(Photo:PMFA/flickr)