A bevy of longtime Brooklyn residents who say they're being shunted out of their homes by aggressive and illegal gentrification tactics are fighting back. In a federal lawsuit filed on Monday, the tenants accuse their landlords of attempting to intimidate, bully, and price longtime black tenants out of their Prospect Lefferts Gardens apartments in order to make way for a younger, almost universally white crowd.

Since Yeahaya Wasserman and Yitzchock Rambod purchased the Hawthorne Avenue and Brooklyn Avenue buildings in 2009, the two landlords have been illegally harassing their black tenants, many of whom have lived there for over three decades, by performing deliberately ineffective repairs and even changing their locks without warning, the suit alleges.

Two group actions filed against the defendants in 2013 described "mold in bathrooms, broken windows, leaking faucets, rodents and vermin, inoperative electrical outlets, and broken radiators."

When mistreatment failed, the tenants say they were offered $10,000 to vacate their homes.

The complaint, filed with Flatbush Tenant Coalition and the Flatbush Development Corporation, attests that at least 20 units have been vacated as a direct result of the landlords' systematic abuse. Those who remain are subjected to collapsing ceilings, spray-painted bathtubs and ridiculous Housing Court actions from the defendants. Once, Wasserman and Rambod attempted to evict a tenant for owning a washing machine.

Meanwhile, the suit states, the newer and predominantly white residents are treated to sanitary living conditions, monthly rent remittance forms, and prompt and effective repairs, as well as renewal lease offers with less than 3 percent in price increase. The complaint notes that one black tenant in a similarly sized apartment was driven out of the complex by a lease that demanded an increase of nearly 14 percent.

Speaking to the New York Daily News, Hawthorne Avenue resident Marquetta Bell says that new tenants are being taken for a ride as well. By her account, an Asian college student is paying over triple the rent that the previous residents did. "How can you go from paying $687 a month to $2,500 a month? They're also taking advantage of these young kids," she said.

You can read the full lawsuit below.

Tenant Lawsuit 41514