Tenants in four East Village buildings owned by Kushner Companies have filed a class action lawsuit against the developer, alleging that she illegally collected more than $ 4 million in rent for the buildings where the poor construction work was carried out.
A lawsuit filed Tuesday in New York State Supreme Court further alleges that the developer filed fraudulent documents with the New York State Department of Buildings and never received proper occupancy certificate after the completion of construction work in four buildings.
Tenants in court want to prevent the company from collecting rent until the buildings receive a proper occupancy certificate.
CNN announced the message for the first time. Kushner did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
Kushner Companies acquired four buildings in the East Village at 329-335 East 9th Street in 2013, when the company was still run by Jared Kushner, now President Trump’s chief adviser. (Jared Kushner was not appointed in the trial). The buildings used to be part of Ben Shaoul’s portfolio, a significant piece that Kushner acquired in 2013.
According to the lawsuit, Kushner Companies added additional floors and sheds to each of the 9th Street buildings, a change that requires the company to install functional fire nozzles and other fire protection measures. Upon completion of the work, the company was also required to obtain a temporary occupancy certificate (TCO) or occupancy certificate (CO) for the building.
But these sprinkler systems don’t work, according to tenants who live in buildings – and Kushner has falsely claimed to be functional in the paperwork submitted by DOB. According to the complaint, the buildings have not yet received CO, which would require a full inspection of the properties.
The lawsuit, which is based on an investigation by the Housing Rights Initiative’s non-profit watchdog group, is the latest in a series of complaints against Kushner. In March, a judge for housing ruled that tenants living in another East Village building owned by the developer will not have to pay rent until the real estate company provides CO for the building. Kushner Companies previously claimed that CO has not been required since the buildings were built before 1938.