Based on what celebrity news outlets are reporting, popular hip-hop artist Rakim Mayers, better known as A$AP Rocky from the A$AP Mob crew, is being sued by his former landlord for destroying a luxury condo. Among the allegations are that Mr. Mayers scratched up the floors, got rid of a chandelier and a security camera, and turned his walk in closet into a recording studio.
While multiple sources are reporting this story, claiming that a federal lawsuit has been filed against Mr. Mayers, it is worth mentioning that the Federal database PACER does not currently turn up documents that support the claim that Mr. Mayers is being sued.
Wear and Tear, Rockstar Style
When a landlord rents their premises to a celebrity, especially one in the music industry, there has to be a certain level of anticipated wear and tear above and beyond what they'd expect from a normal tenant. The law however does not provide for more leniency for those whom the public expects to trash their rentals. In fact, in the industry, it is not uncommon for hotels and landlords to request additional security deposits from musicians due to the increased likelihood that they might trash the space.
The destruction alleged to have been committed by A$AP Rocky includes a long list of damaged and removed fixtures, as well as some unauthorized additions, including:
What Is A$AP Rocky Really on the Hook For?
Assuming this is a legitimate lawsuit, Mr. Mayers may be on the hook for all the repairs and then some. A tenant can usually make changes to their unit if those changes are authorized, increase the value of the property, or the changes are removed and restored to the original condition upon move out. If all the changes alleged happened, and Mr. Mayers did not restore the premises to the original condition, then the landlord can sue to be paid back for having to restore the unit to its original state, as well as for lost profits due to the unit being unrentable while being restored.
Some of the celebrity news outlets are reporting that Mr. Mayers is being sued for punitive damages as a result of the damages. This is highly unusual. Generally, contract disputes do not give rise to punitive damages.