The New York City Council has began an investigation into documentation that was filed by the real estate company that belongs to the Kushner family, Kushner Cos., under the belief that the company avoided certain rent laws in order to widen their profit margin.
After meeting with tenants of Kushner Cos. properties, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman discovered that while hundreds of the buildings that belonged to the company fell under the protection of a New York City law that prevented them from having to push major rent hikes on their tenants or forcing out tenants under new ownership, it appears that the real estate company often filed falsified documentation stating that the buildings had no tenants under rent regulations from 2013 through 2016. During the years stated, Jared Kushner was serving as the CEO of Kushner Cos., Jared Kushner is also married to first daughter Ivanka Trump.
Per information that was received from Housing Rights Initiative, a watchdog group, there were at least 80 applications filed for construction permits on 34 separate buildings during that time period that included false information. Each application stated that the buildings had no rent-regulated tenants living in them, but in reality, they had about 300 rent-regulated tenants. The false information led to a lack of city supervision at the construction sites which in turn left vulnerable tenants who were harassed to leave or forced to endure the constant upheaval that came with the construction.
The move was one that allowed the real estate company to force certain tenants out of the building in order to renovate then bring in tenants who were able to pay new and higher rents. This type of accusation goes beyond just falsifying certain information in documentation, according to some city council members, it threatens the very existence of affordable rents and the safety of tenants who are living in construction zones.
While it is clear that New York is not fond of the President and his family, city council members made it clear that fault also lies with the city for failing to properly vet the paperwork which clearly disagreed with city tax documents. For his part, Kushner was quick to point out that a third party was hired to file the paperwork, he and his family had no knowledge of what was actually happening. Since the 2016 election when President Trump took office, Jared Kushner stepped down as CEO of his company but still has major holdings in the company as well as Westminster Management, a real estate company located in Maryland that carries residential properties that were recently hit with their own lawsuit by tenants who claimed they had been charge strange fees which occurred simply to force them from the properties. For more detailed information on this topic, click here.