DAMNING

Report: Jared Kushner Described as Litigious Slumlord by Former Tenants

Although White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is known for his family company’s high-end apartment complexes in New York, a report by The New York Times on Tuesday uncovered several lesser-known properties throughout Baltimore, where former tenants described Kushner as a neglectful slumlord preying on the lower middle class with frivolous lawsuits. Former tenants of properties owned by JK2 Westminster LLC—a subsidiary of Kushner Cos.—said they were hit with lawsuits for minor violations or baseless accusations years after moving out. One woman interviewed in the report, Kamiia Warren, a single mother of three, said she moved out of her apartment in 2010 after receiving written permission to break her lease. But she said she was slapped with a lawsuit three years later claiming she’d never given notice, a move that resulted in her wages being garnished and her bank account cleaned out—for $3,014.08. “It was just pure greed,” Warren was quoted as saying. “They know how to work this stuff. They know what to do, and here I am, I don’t know anything about the law.” JK2 Westminster was listed as the plaintiff in 548 similar cases in Maryland’s District Court system, with many of the cases filed over broken leases or minor disputes in which the tenant doesn’t seem to be at fault, according to the report. Current and former tenants at numerous units said JK Westminster’s property-management arm, Westminster Management, was neglectful in its upkeep. Complaints about black mold, leaks, mice infestations, and even maggots were often ignored for weeks or months before the company did anything, according to the report. In some cases, tenants forced to move out by unsanitary living conditions were later sued for breaking their leases, the report said. Though Kushner stepped down from Kushner Cos. in January, he remains a stakeholder, and he played a central role in the company’s activities when the Baltimore properties were purchased in 2012.