A company engaged in real estate falsified construction permits for a number of buildings owned by it in New York City. The falsified permits were related to multiple apartment buildings. These permits allowed that company to evict rent-controlled tenants. The buildings were later sold at steeper prices. The company was once run by Jared Kushner.
The Kushner-led company thus made higher profits than what it would normally get with the presence of rent-controlled tenants. Such findings were made by a prominent news organization when it partnered with Housing Rights Initiative. The two discovered a minimum of 80 applications of this nature. The applications were made for 34 buildings. The apartments were spread across all over New York City. Applications were submitted over a span of three years- from 2013 to 2016.
As per the media house, the Kushner company checked a certain box on the construction permit applications. This indicated that the buildings did not have any rent-regulated tenants. The deed was done in 2015. Increased oversights are imposed on rent-controlled apartments. Inspectors arrive for unscheduled inspections so that tenants are not harassed to leave. Subsequent tax records which were filed a few months later revealed that the company enjoyed the inheritance of a staggering 94 rent-regulated housing units from the previous owner.
Tenants and Kushner's denial
Although Kushner sold some of the assets when he entered the White House, he continued to have stakes in similar properties. The media house has identified three such buildings in Astoria, Queens. The reports said although not a single document throughout the three-year time span had Kushner's signature, the pages offered a rare preview of how he ran his empire at that time. He was the CEO of the company during the 2013 to 2016 period.
Both present and former tenants of the buildings in question have no fond memories of those days. What they tell of that period make for difficult reading. Horror stories abound. Tenants claimed that the apartment buildings were subjected to major structural changes. They had to endure constant drilling and banging on the walls. Dust was a constant feature and everywhere. Leaking water became a regular feature. The tenants believed that all these were part of a targeted harassment. The intention was to make them leave. After they left, the building would be refurbished for higher paying renters. Kushner Cos denied all such allegations, saying that third parties handled the government filings.