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A tenant accused of turning a $1.7M LA home into an illegal Airbnb says he did nothing wrong and will sue his landlord

Joshua Zitser   

A tenant accused of turning a $1.7M LA home into an illegal Airbnb says he did nothing wrong and will sue his landlord
  • Nikeeta Sriram accused Nicholas Jarzabek of turning her $1.675 million home into an illegal Airbnb.
  • Jarzabek told BI he plans to countersue his landlord for libel.

The tenant of a $1.675 million Los Angeles home, whose owner accused him of turning it into an illegal Airbnb, insists he did nothing wrong.

Nicholas Jarzabek, who also goes by the stage name Nick Diver, now plans to countersue his landlord Nikeeta Sriram, accusing her of libel, among other claims.

"I am not a nightmare tenant. I have never been a nightmare tenant," Jarzabek said in a letter provided to Business Insider by email.

In the letter, he claimed not only that Sriram had stained his reputation, but also that he sublet the property with her knowledge.

The Los Angeles Times reported on a lawsuit filed by 31-year-old Nikeeta Sriram, seeking to kick out Jarzabek and take back the home.

In an interview with the newspaper she called Jarzabek a "nightmare," the term he rejected in his email.

Sriram said she rented her Mid-Wilshire property to Jarzabek in March 2022. It consists of a main house and a separate one-bedroom house in the yard.

According to the lawsuit, reviewed by the Times, Jarzabek initially paid his rent on time and made no repair requests.

However, The Times reported that in December 2023, Sriram discovered her home listed on Airbnb, which she claimed violated the terms of their lease.

As part of the lawsuit, Sriram subpoenaed Airbnb records, which showed that over 16 months between 2022 and 2023, the listing generated $215,954, about $13,500 a month, according to the Times.

Sriram filed for eviction through the Los Angeles Superior Court and sent a cease-and-desist letter to Jarzabek's attorney, the outlet reported.

Jarzabek showed BI a draft of a civil lawsuit where he counters Sriram's claims. He said he plans to file it this week.

In the document, he alleges that Sriram only initiated eviction proceedings when she asked him to leave early and he refused.

He denied breaching the lease's terms, claiming he paid rent on time every month up until eviction proceedings began.

In a letter provided to Business Insider, Jarzabek claimed that earlier in the lease Sriram "didn't care what I did with the properties as long as I paid the rent."

He stated that Sriram knew he was single and had rented him two separate houses, seeming to imply it was obvious he would do something else with the excess space.

"Sriram knew I had guests and knew I sublet," he said. He also claimed she had not expressed any concerns for a year and a half until she wanted to break the lease, which he says was due to continue to September 2024.

Jarzabek's draft lawsuit claims Sriram made "false, misleading, nonfactual, and unfounded" statements about him in the Times article.

He claims the article led to "public hatred, contempt, and ridicule," including threats by people to beat up and kill him and says he is seeking damages of $14,000.

Sriram did not immediately respond to a request for comment from BI.



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