Maryland Investigation into Kushner Real Estate Practices | Mining Awareness +
The suit follows a May 23 article jointly published by ProPublica and The New York Times Magazine that detailed the Kushner Companies’ highly litigious dealings with the people who rent apartments in the 15 complexes it owns in the Baltimore area. The company, which shares ownership in some of the complexes with other partners but runs them all through its Westminster Management subsidiary, has brought hundreds of cases against current and former tenants in local courts.
Many of the cases involved former tenants who had moved out of the complexes several years before Kushner Companies bought them. The firm’s purchases began with the acquisition of 5,500 units in the Baltimore area as part of a $371 million deal in 2012, with several thousand more units added in the next few years. Some of the cases involved tenants who possessed clear evidence that they did not owe the money the company claimed, yet were pursued anyway for several years, with late fees and court fees piling on top of the original claims. The article also described shoddy conditions that many tenants contend with at the complexes, including mice, leaky roofs and mold.
In response to questions for the May 23 article, the Kushner Companies’ chief financial officer said that its approach when it came to pursuing tenants conformed with industry practices and that it had a fiduciary duty to its ownership partners to collect all money owed by current and former tenants. Jared Kushner, who was instrumental in the purchases, stepped down as the company’s CEO when his father-in-law won the presidency. Kushner has become one of Trump’s most senior advisers in the White House.