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Kushner Companies flouts NYC rent stabilization laws: suit

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 11/14/2017 STEPHEN REX BROWN
Jared Kushner's real estate company, Kushner Companies, has been sued a second time by Housing Rights Initiative for flouting rent stabilization laws. © Pool/Getty Images Jared Kushner's real estate company, Kushner Companies, has been sued a second time by Housing Rights Initiative for flouting rent stabilization laws.

Jared Kushner's real estate company was slapped Tuesday with a second lawsuit alleging it was flouting rent stabilization laws, leading advocates to charge it runs a "predatory business model."

The suit filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court by the Housing Rights Initiative alleges that Kushner Companies disregarded the law requiring 18 Sidney Place be re-stabilized after buying the 18-unit building from Brooklyn Law School. Student housing was exempt from rent stabilization laws, but once back in the hands of a private landlord, the building was supposed to be completely re-stabilized, the suit says.

Instead, Kushner only registered two apartments as rent stabilized, according to papers. A July article in the Real Deal reported that a one-bedroom at the seven-story property rents for $3,850 per month.

"Kushner Companies is a rapacious predator," said Aaron Carr, executive director of the Housing Rights Initiative. "A predator that has been hiding in plain sight. Lurking in the shadows of a broken enforcement system, Kushner has wreaked havoc on families, caused irreparable harm to our communities, and swindled affordability from this City. All in the midst of an affordable housing crisis."

A spokesman for Kushner Companies said the lawsuit is “without merit.”

“We have complied with all rent regulations applicable to these apartments,” spokesman Chris Taylor said.

Carr's group sued Kushner Companies in August for a similar scheme at a 48-unit building at 89 Hicks St.

He says the suit is further evidence that rent stabilization laws need stricter enforcement from the state's Department of Home and Community Renewal — and called on Gov. Cuomo to audit Kushner Companies' portfolio of more than 50 buildings in New York City.

"Kushner Companies appears to be flouting the law with reckless abandon. Tenants have been left alone with a multi-billion dollar predator. It is time for the New York State government to commence an investigation into Kushner Companies' business practices," Carr said.

Jared Kushner, a White House senior adviser and President Trump's son-in-law, stepped down as CEO of Kushner Companies in January.

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