Longtime residents of two buildings on the Bowery say their landlord, Joseph Betesh, is trying to force them out by making conditions in their homes unlivable.

Earlier today, tenants of the 27 units in 83 and 85 Bowery gave reporters a tour of their moldy, water-damaged apartments. One family uses an umbrella to seal a leaking hole in their bathroom's ceiling.

The gas was also cut off in 85 Bowery for 40 days this spring, despite numerous complaints to both the landlord and 311.

Yaqin Li, a resident of 85 Bowery for more than 10 years, told reporters that the gas was shut off due to an alleged line tap, but she's frustrated at the slow response.

"I've complained many times but they refuse to address it, they drag it out, they just don't come to resolve the issue," she said. "This is a tactic that they are using—I think that ultimately they want to push us out and this is a step they are using to try to push us out."

Residents also worry that the conditions pose a heath and safety hazard especially for the many seniors and children who live in the building.

As gentrification leads to higher rents across the city, landlords have engaged in sabotaging their own buildings in order to force out longtime, low-income residents.

Betesh's Milestone Equities purchased the two buildings in 2013, along with nine others along the Bowery, for $62 million. Betesh also owns the clothing franchise DrJays.

In addition to allowing the buildings to sink into disrepair, residents say Betesh has refused to renew the leases of longtime tenants.

A representative for one of Betesh's real estate affiliates declined to put us in touch with Betesh, or comment on the allegations.

"This is not just these buildings, it's in a lot of buildings," Wendy Cheung of the Chinese Staff and Worker's Association said of the conditions the tenants are living in. "Why should people have to live in these conditions? That's why we're call him a slumlord. This is a slum. It's a hazard to live there, it's a hazard for your health, and if it's not eviction I don't know what it is."