Jared Kushner's CRE Firm Has Filed Hundreds Of Eviction Notices, Charged Court Fees
Westminster Management, an affiliate of Kushner Cos. with a portfolio of Class-C apartment buildings in the Baltimore area, has filed hundreds of eviction notices in Maryland District Court, the Washington Post reports. Though the state still has a moratorium in place preventing eviction hearings from being held, Westminster is telling its residents that the filing of the notices means that court fees will be added to the back rent they owe.
In addition to the statewide moratorium, the federal moratorium put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention remains in effect until at least the end of the year. Westminster is not alone in filing for eviction before hearings can be held, presumably to be toward the front of the line when proceedings resume, the Post reports.
Across the country, jobs and wages lost to the coronavirus pandemic have still not fully recovered, especially in sections like food service, retail and entertainment where social distancing restrictions are in place and workers average less income than in jobs that can be performed remotely. One study estimates that as much as $34B in rent debt could be owed in the U.S. by the time the CDC moratorium is lifted.
Though Kushner divested from Kushner Cos. when he joined the staff of President Donald Trump, his father-in-law, he has continued to hold other real estate and related interests. He only divested from commercial real estate investment startup Cadre, for which he was a founding investor, in February.
Westminster has drawn controversy before for its treatment of tenants, who are predominantly working-class to low-income renters. A lawsuit brought by Maryland's attorney general alleging illegal renter fees and seizure of security deposits is ongoing, the Post reports.