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Jared Kushner’s Family Sued for Allegedly Violating Rent-Stabilization Law

Jared Kushner

Jared Kushner.

Summary: A group of Brooklyn tenants is suing Kushner Companies.

A new class action lawsuit claims that Jared Kushner’s family systematically bilked Brooklyn tenants out of $1 million in rent overcharges. The lawsuit was prompted by an investigation conducted by the Housing Rights Initiative, according to The New York Times. 

  
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In 2014, Kushner Companies bought a group of Brooklyn Heights buildings from the Brooklyn Law School. Kushner Companies converted the building into residences; and one of those properties, 89 Hicks Street, said that the company skirted the state rent stabilization law and illegally collected almost $1 million in fees.

Nine of the tenants of 89 Hicks Street said that the building was built before 1974 and has more than six units. Therefore it was obligated to have rent stabilization.

The lawsuit said that the Kushner family’s company registered five out of the 48 units as rent stabilized; but in actuality, all of the units should have been registered. Although only nine tenants are participating in the case so far, hundreds of former and current tenants could have similar claims.

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Housing Rights Initiative also said that Kushner Companies illegally did not register the apartments with New York state’s Division of Housing & Community Renewal.

“In the hundreds of buildings that we have investigated to date, we have never seen a scheme as blatant, willful, and egregious as this one,” said Aaron Carr, the executive director of HRI, told The New York Times. “Kushner Companies’ blatant disregard for the law is an integral part of its business model. Their rapacious greed knows no bounds.”



HRI is a non-profit, and it has researched other Kushner Companies’ buildings and found similar violations. They said that there is possible litigation coming in regards to those other properties.

“Rent overcharges or rent fraud is part of a systematic business model,” Carr said to The New York Times. “When you see irregularities in a few buildings, that most likely means there are irregularities in all of their buildings.”

An example of an overcharge at 89 Hicks Street is that a one-bedroom apartment is listed for $2,500 a month but with rent control should be no more than $1,100. That means a tenant could be overpaying by up to $17,000 a year.

In 2014, Jared Kushner ran his family’s company and purchased the Brooklyn Heights set of buildings, but he has stepped down as CEO in order to take a role as Senior White House Advisor. Kushner is married to Ivanka Trump, daughter of President Donald Trump. The couple is reportedly worth $761 million.

A spokesperson for Kushner Companies told The New York Times that they were reviewing the lawsuit.

What do you think of Jared Kushner? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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