Prospect-Lefferts

Airbnb removes listings from three PLG buildings after tenants sue landlords

April 19, 2019 Noah Goldberg
On left: photo from inside a tenant's apartment on Flatbush Ave. On right: image from an Airbnb advertisement in one of the apartment buildings. Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Legal Services.

Airbnb removed all listings from three Prospect Lefferts Gardens apartment buildings just days after the landlords who own them were sued for allegedly harassing and terrorizing rent-regulated tenants.

Ten tenants filed the suit against their landlords — Miriam, William, Richard and Michelle Shasho, along with their companies First Kings Management LLC and 611 Flatbush Ave. Realty Corp. — in Kings County Supreme Court on Tuesday, claiming the landlords had gone so far as to deliver live rats, mice and roaches inside “refurbished” appliances just to scare them off.

They also accused the Shasho family of gut-renovating apartments at 599, 607 and 611 Flatbush Ave. to rent with luxury amenities on Airbnb. Their own requests for repairs were routinely ignored, tenants said.

Elizabeth Hayes, who has lived at 607 Flatbush since 1981, said she can't sleep at night because a worker stomps around the building until 3:00 a.m. Eagle photo by Noah Goldberg.
Elizabeth Hayes, who has lived at 607 Flatbush since 1981, said she can’t sleep at night because a worker stomps around the building until 3 a.m. Eagle photo by Noah Goldberg.

“We have suspended these listings,” said Liz Debold-Fusco, a representative for Airbnb. “Hosting is a serious responsibility, and if we determine that certain listings violate our standards and expectations we will remove those listings,” she said.

The Airbnb rental apartments come with air-conditioning, coffee machines and flat screen TVs, the tenants say. The lawsuit alleges that the rentals violate New York State’s Multiple Dwelling Law and City’s Rent Stabilization Code.

“I hope that is the end of it,” said Elizabeth Hayes, a tenant of 607 Flatbush Ave. since 1981.

But — she doubts it. “I will keep my eyes on things,” she said. “Why should he [William Shasho] stop now? He will find his way around it.”

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