As the Mueller investigation into Trump and his associates continues to rock on, the question has been if any of his children would be charged with any wrongdoing, especially his son-in-law Jared Kushner. Kushner serves as a senior adviser to Trump.
Though we’re still waiting on the Mueller report, NYC Councilman Ritchie Torres has made some very interesting accusations against Kushner and the company he once ran. Torres is the chair of the New York Oversight Committee.
‘Kushner Co. uses an illegal business model that relies on operating illegal apartment buildings w. no certificates of occupancy. They are illegally operating 9 buildings throughout NYC, putting tenants at risk by ignoring the law.’
Later on, he accused the company of harassing tenants.
‘Our investigation into #KushnerCo has found that they rely on skirting the law, harassing tenants & lying to city govt in order to increase profits. We need city agencies to enforce anti-tenant harassment laws & conduct proper oversight of buildings operated by bad landlords.’
So, what’s the big deal behind this? According to the Washington Post, a building owner must obtain a certificate of occupancy when a building undergoes “significant renovation.” Changing the layout of the building or the fire exits would be considered significant renovation.
The head of Housing Rights Initiative Aaron Carr explained further:
‘A certificate of occupancy is essentially like a driver’s license for landlords.’
To renew a certificate of occupancy, safety inspections would be required, which Kushner Cos. would want to avoid. If a building doesn’t have a certificate of occupancy, no one should be living on the property.
Today, we are revealing how Kushner Co. is operating illegal apartment buildings in the City. https://t.co/7efzDzbbsJ
— Ritchie Torres (@RitchieTorres) March 19, 2019
Further complicating the matter is the fact that Kushner Cos. cannot get a certificate of occupancy due to previous fines. Torres claimed they still owe $350,000 in fines.
‘After our [last] press conference, the buildings department took action against Kushner Companies and issued $350,000 in violations. But has Kushner Companies paid those violations? No.’
Of course, a spokesperson for Kushner Cos. claimed they have paid $185,000 of the fines.
According to the AP, they were fined $210,000 for claiming they had “no low-paying, rent-stabilized tenants in dozens of its buildings.” Guess what? They had hundreds. By making this claim, they were able to skip out on inspections.
Kushner Cos. responded to the allegations basically claiming it wasn’t their fault.
‘Similar to many other landlords, we inherited from prior owners certificates of occupancy with various issues. Kushner will continue the long and detailed process to work with our consultants and the Department of Buildings to correct every issue outstanding.’
I bet they will. It’s hard to imagine that the company Kushner previously ran would operate lawfully. Considering Kushner married into a family headed by a man known for his unlawful real estate dealings, it’s probable that Kushner and his company would use underhanded methods to screw people out of a safe home.
Though Kushner does not head Kushner Cos. anymore, he was the CEO when two of his building certificates of occupancy expired. Plus, we’re sure he gets updates on how the business is doing.
Featured image via YouTube screenshot.