Scores Of Kushner Cos. Tenants Get Green Light For Class-Action Suit
Tenants accusing Kushner Cos. of illegally deregulating a building in Brooklyn are now able to go after the Manhattan-based landlord for damages as a group.
A judge awarded class-action status to the complainants in a ruling, meaning the company could have to pay rent back to six named plaintiffs, 46 additional tenants and anyone else the court finds were overcharged by the firm, The Real Deal reports.
The tenants allege that apartments at 18 Sidney, a former dorm at Brooklyn Law School, should have been offered as rent-stabilized units because the building was regulated until 1991 before being turned into a dorm. Instead, the Kushners rented the units at market rate, according to the 2017 lawsuit.
The company purchased the property from the school in 2014, and it now has 45 days to provide names and contacts for everyone that has lived in the building, per TRD.
Kushner Cos. is being run by Charles Kushner while his son, former CEO Jared, has served as senior adviser in the Trump administration. It is not the only time Kushner’s treatment of tenants and adherence to rent regulations has been questioned.
In 2018, the firm was accused of filing 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 firm was also investigated in Maryland for allegedly keeping apartments in poor conditions while harassing tenants, including having some arrested for unpaid debts. Meanwhile, Westminster Management, an affiliate of Kushner with a portfolio of apartment buildings in the Baltimore area, has filed hundreds of eviction notices in Maryland District Court, The Washington Post reported earlier this month, despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidance against evictions for the rest of 2020.