“Thousands” of rent-regulated tenants in Trump family-built apartments saw questionable rent increases because the Trumps overstated how much they spent on property improvements, The New York Times reports. When tenants in Trump family-built properties noticed their rents went up in the 1990s, some were skeptical the increase was due to rumored building improvements that cost millions. According to The Times, a questionable purchasing scheme that let now-President Trump and his siblings “pad the cost of nearly everything their father, the legendary builder Fred C. Trump, purchased for his buildings” enabled these rent increases. The Times, which initially reported on inflated invoices in October, noted Fred Trump’s children pocketed the extra money. Fattening these costs, through a sham property improvement corporation, allegedly enabled heftier rent increases. “The higher the markup would be, the higher the rent that might be charged,” Robert Trump, the President Trump’s brother, reportedly said in a deposition. While Trump and his siblings no longer own these buildings, tenants continue to feel the impact. Higher base rents impact the city’s calculation of percentage increases for rent-stabilized apartments. With a single $10 increase on all of the 8,000 apartments in 1995, tenants’ total over-payment to date would be in excess of $33 million.
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