Kushner Cos. Reportedly Filed 80 False Documents, Concealing Rent-Regulated Tenants
Jared Kushner’s family company filed false paperwork for many of its New York City buildings, incorrectly claiming they had no rent-regulated tenants, according to a tenants’ rights watchdog.
The company said there were no rent-regulated tenants in the building, even though tax documents show they featured more than 300 rent-regulated units.
“It’s bare-faced greed,” said Aaron Carr, the founder of Housing Rights Initiative, who gathered the work permit application documents and shared them with the AP. “The fact that the company was falsifying all these applications with the government shows a sordid attempt to avert accountability and get a rapid return on its investment.”
In three of its Astoria apartment buildings, for example, the company stated in a permit application in 2015 that the buildings had no rent-regulated tenants, according to the AP. Tax records filed in the months following showed the buildings had as many as 94 rent-regulated units inherited from its previous owner.
The company was able to sell the three buildings for $60M last year, at more than a 50% profit. None of the permit documents were signed by Jared Kushner, who has since stepped down from his role as CEO to act as a senior adviser to his father-in-law, President Donald Trump.
Kushner Cos. told the AP in a statement that it would “never deny any tenant their due-process rights” and that it “has renovated thousands of apartments and developments with minimal complaints over the past 30 years.”
Kushner Cos. is being investigated in Maryland for allegedly keeping apartments in poor conditions while harassing tenants, including having some arrested for unpaid debts. Housing Rights Initiative has two lawsuits pending against the company for violating rent regulations in New York.
New York City Council member Ritchie Torres is launching an investigation into permit applications, and told the AP the Kushners “appear to be engaging in what I call the weaponization of construction.”
The company said it outsources the preparation of construction documents to a third party, and if any mistakes or violations are found, “corrective action is taken immediately.”