When a person becomes famous, they often also become very wealthy. Since nothing says “I’m rich!” quite like collecting property, sometimes these celebrities end up with more homes than they know what to do with—and end up becoming landlords.
This week, people on Twitter became aware en masse that Hannibal Buress is a landlord. The people of the internet were not very happy. So we’ll start there.
The fact that Buress is a landlord has been public knowledge since at least 2017, when he discussed it on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The next year, he talked about it on his podcast. “I got this building in Chicago,” he explained. “I bought it in July and there were tenants in it, and so I wanted to put the units on Airbnb. So I asked all the tenants to leave. I offered them two months’ free rent. I never took any rent from them, as hopefully incentive for them to want to move without too much trouble.”
He went on to say that everyone moved out except for one tenant, who asked for a two-week extension. When he eventually got access to the apartment, Buress was disappointed to find that the unit wasn’t fully cleared out. “They left a treadmill in that shit, the refrigerator was full, there was a bunch of stuff in the room.”
The outrage on Twitter might have died out if Hannibal hadn’t added fuel to the fire this week. In response to a Bernie Sanders tweet that expressed support for national rent control, Buress replied “Wrong.” He followed that up by tweeting a link to the Illinois Rental Property Owners Association, asking people to donate. That didn’t go over well.
Cardi B and Offset
In April 2019, Cardi B and Offset spent about $200,000 buying up half a block in Jonesboro, Georgia, a small city outside of Atlanta. The purchase included an empty plot of land and five homes—with tenants still living in them.
People speculated that the couple hoped to build their own home on the property. But when paragon of investigative journalism The Daily Mail contacted one of Cardi’s new tenants, he said there’d been no talk of being kicked out. “We’re not being asked to move out or anything. [Our former landlord] just sold it. I’d like to stay here, nobody wants to go through the hassle of moving houses.”
In interviews, Offset and Cardi have both mentioned a desire to build a dream home where they can raise a family. In the meantime, they’re collecting rent.
Leo’s home—which was Dinah Shore’s home first—has been up for rent since 2015. He listed the Palm Springs property just a few days after successfully finding a renter for his apartment in Manhattan. The Manhattan tenant, a former economic policy advisor to the Clinton administration, paid a staggering $25,000 a month in rent.
His Palm Springs property features two buildings. The main house has six bedrooms and seven-and-a-half baths. (I know I said this list was presented without comment, but I will never understand why a home needs more bathrooms than bedrooms.) The property also features a guest house, a tennis court, and a pool. He even created his own rental website for it. Did I mention it’s $4,500 a night?
It seems almost every famous person you can think of has a common problem. I imagine Ivanka and Jared Kushner sitting down to dinner, at opposite ends of a 40-foot-long table, and Ivanka
screaming, “I own so much property that I don’t even know what to do with it!”
Ivanka listed what she has referred to as her “starter apartment,” a two-bedroom on Park Avenue, for rent in 2017. She was originally asking $15,000 per month, but lowered the rent to $13,000 when no one bit. This was after she tried to sell it for over $4 million.
I wish I had these problems.
While Lenny isn’t the most buzz-worthy celeb on this list, I was overjoyed to learn that he started dating Nicole Kidman in the early 2000s when she was his tenant. Even more exciting was the fact that Kravitz was sued by a neighbor for over $300,000 in 2004, when a toilet in his rental unit overflowed. (The New York Times actually covered the suit, proving that there was a time when Lenny was big news.)
Also, not crucial, but interesting all the same: Courtney Love owned an apartment in the same building.
Radcliffe has been a landlord longer than I’ve been old enough to vote. In 2007, he bought a $4 million home in Manhattan’s SoHo and began renting it almost immediately. The monthly rent is $19,000, and the bathroom is so pretty that I would pay $19,000 a month to live in the tub. The building also has a private swimming pool.
I can’t control the urge to make a bad Harry Potter joke here. Looks like The Boy Who Lived has become…The Boy Who Landlords(?) No. Sorry.
I was less surprised to learn that 50 Cent is a landlord than to discover he owns a mansion in Connecticut. Like many other celebrity landlords, he chose to rent the place after trying, unsuccessfully, to sell it for an astronomical amount—originally $18 million, eventually lowered to $8 million.
For the low, low cost of $100,000 a month, you can exercise in the G-Unit gym and gamble in the private underground casino. There’s also a nightclub and a conference room. It’s one of the only private owned properties in Connecticut that has an approved helicopter landing pad. All these excessive amenities don’t make up for the fact that it’s located in Connecticut, though.
Follow for memes about renting. They’ll be relatable until you become a celebrity landlord.