People may wonder why Ivanka Trump married Jared Kushner. As it turns out, he appears to have the same cold soulless heart and a taste for using strong-arm men against others. He is a slumlord in New York City with no concern about the very lives of people living in his four apartment buildings there.
Kushner Companies’ added a penthouse on top of an existing structure built in 1900. In order to do so, it had to get a Certificate of Occupancy, which would show the building was up to code and “in compliance with the law illegally collecting rent, [creating] “dangerous living conditions,” partially due to no working sprinkler system along with “other fire safety measures.”
The company did not comply, only acquiring a temporary expired certificate:
‘In order to obtain the [temporary certificates of occupancy], Defendants falsely claimed in its DOB (Department of Building) filings that sprinklers were installed and working.’
Another plaintiff Michael Maher and Porvin said they worried about the “structural integrity” of the entire building. Maher has been an occupant in this building since 1982. He also said both the walls and the ceilings in his kitchen in his bathroom had been leaking, leading to mold and mildew issues:
‘The whole building has tremors. It never had before they put those penthouses up there.’
A Department of Buildings inspector found in 2018, CNN reported:
‘[A] failure to maintain building in code-compliant manner. I observed in cellar valve to sprinkler system was closed and gages were showing no water in the system. Failure to provide an automatic sprinkler system.’
A Netflix documentary about “slumlord” Kushner Dirty Money revealed the “most shocking” discoveries.
A housing court judge found in favor of one of the occupants in a lawsuit against Kushner Companies over withholding rent. The renter argued that she did not need to pay rent given that the company had no Certificate of Occupancy. The Kushner Companies lost the argument was that the building “was grandfathered:”
Longtime resident in one of the Kushner buildings, Porvin said:
“I’m more concerned about a fire starting now than I used to be. The sprinkler in the hallway is outside my unit. They’re not even capped. They’re an open pipe.’ There’s no water in the pipes.’
The lawsuit claims that Kushner Companies:
‘[H]ave circumvented fire safety and other protections required by the [Department of Buildings] including: failing to install operable sprinklers throughout the Subject Building; failing to legalize the height of the existing boiler chimney that services all four buildings; and other fire egress conditions that threaten the lives and safety of the Plaintiffs.’
The lawsuit claimed:
‘[Kushner Companies] have perpetrated a fraud by claiming that the penthouses have been continuously under construction in order to renew its TCOs indefinitely in order to avoid complying with the DOB’s requirements for obtaining COs.’
Housing Court Judge Frances Ortiz ruled against Kushner Companies:
‘[T]he addition of an entire floor on the top of the building constitutes a substantial alteration, thereby requiring petitioners to obtain a C of O for the entire building. No rent is collectible by the petitioner [Kushner Village ] when a building lacks a valid certificate of occupancy.’
In the newest lawsuit, the tenants noted that representatives from Kushner Companies:
‘[H]ave badgered tenants for rent payments, despite the COVID 19 epidemic raging at the time [tactics that] were intended to, and did scare tenants of the Subject Building into paying rent that was legally not collectable, during the COVID 19 epidemic.’
The general counsel for Kushner Companies Christopher Smith responded:
‘This is just more of the same politically motivated harassment — each of these properties has been certified by the NYC Department of Buildings as safe to occupy and in compliance with applicable building codes.’
The lawsuit evolved out of an investigation Watchdog group the Housing Rights Initiative which investigates landlords. Jared Kushner was not specifically named in the lawsuit, even though the company was a family business. Litigation is ongoing.
Twitter world was shocked by these living conditions. Check out some of our favorite responses below:
— Nino Vega (@ninovegas) September 15, 2020
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.