A Queens landlord claims two tenants of a three-bedroom apartment illegally renovated the space to create several more rooms.
According to PIX11, Burak Firik and Dogan Kimilli recently signed a lease to rent the third floor of a three-story building in Elmhurst, New York for $2,500 a month.
Shortly after, a tenant on the first floor reportedly called landlord Eddie Shiew to report sounds of construction from above.
Shiew went to the third floor and discovered construction workers had indeed used what looked like drywall to turn each of the three bedrooms into three smaller bedrooms.
I went in the next day and found they had turned a three-bedroom into a 10-bedroom apartment.
After discovering the construction, Shiew hired a crew to destroy the room divisions and then changed the locks on the apartment's doors.
He ordered Firik and Kimilli to leave the property, but the pair took out a court order against Shiew.
Shiew told PIX11,
They said I illegally locked them out.
Firik and Kimilli were let back into the apartment as per the court order.
The two have reportedly since used curtains to create smaller rooms within their bedrooms and listed the spaces on Airbnb. Two tourists who reportedly found the room listed for $35 a night were found living in one of the bedrooms by the PIX11 news crew.
Shiew claimed the two violated the terms of their lease, which reportedly reads,
Except as authorized by the consent of the Landlord, Tenants will not make any repairs or alterations to the premises.
The landlord is seeking eviction, but Firik reportedly sent him a text saying,
We know the laws very well, you'll not be able to evict us ever.
Shiew was unfazed by this message, however, and believes Firik and Kimilli will only be able to stay in the apartment for a few more months before they are evicted by a court order.
The Airbnb tenants told PIX11 they pay rent online and, therefore, never met Firik and Kimilli.