Brooklyn tenants claim landlord neglects their apartments while fixing up Airbnb units

PROSPECT-LEFFERTS-GARDENS, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Some tenants in Brooklyn say their landlord is letting their apartments languish while sprucing up the ones he rents on Airbnb.

The ceiling in Lara Jacobs' apartment leaks mostly at night, when bare bulbs light up the cracks in the walls, chipped paint and chunks ol broken plaster.

The heat doesn't always work and there is no air conditioning.

She and other tenants are suing the owners.

The lawsuit claims that the owners are illegally renting out some apartments in the building on Airbnb.

It claims refurbished apartments are intended for use by Airbnb customers, with new floors, walls and appliances, fresh paint, and a separate heating and air conditioning system that works.

On the Airbnb web site, the owner is offering the apartments for $99 a night and the reviews indicate people have stayed in them.

"He equips the Airbnb units with separate heating and cooling systems, luxuries, amenities while our clients go without basic things like heat and hot water which they're entitled to," said the tenants lawyer Catherine Frizell.

The tenants say the owner is charging illegally high rent to them and letting their apartments fall apart so they will leave.

"They've told us if you don't like it, why don't you leave?", said one tenant.

We tried to reach out to the owners, several members of the Shasho family, but they did not respond to our requests for comment.

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