Like his father-in-law, President Donald Trump, Jared Kushner is known for his family's real estate ventures. But also like Trump, Kushner has proven to be a typical callous landlord, who, at times, even preys on low-income tenants with petty lawsuits.
According to a ProPublica investigation, tenants at Kushner's lesser-known Baltimore properties are accusing the now White House senior adviser of using baseless claims to sue them, regardless of their financial background and the fact that they often are incapable of even affording a lawyer.
One of these cases involved Kamiia Warren, a single mother of three and a former tenant of an apartment complex on High Seas Court in the Cove Village development. After she moved out of her apartment in 2010, she was slapped with a lawsuit three years later claiming she had never given JK2 Westminster LLC — a subsidiary of Kushner Companies — proper notice. The company, which owns the complex, alleged she failed to do her part in the agreement while she claims she only left once she was given written permission to break her lease.
As a result, Warren, who could not afford a lawyer, had a $4,615 lien on her name, wiping her account clean and making it hard for her to ever get a loan to start her own small assisted living center.
“It was just pure greed,” she told reporters. “It was unnecessary.”
At least 548 other similar cases in Maryland’s District Court system list JK2 Westminster as the plaintiff. And much like Warren's case, most of these cases involve minor infractions and situations that made researchers doubt tenants were actually at fault.
Prior to leaving the complex, Warren had complained about a loud next door neighbor who kept her infant awake at night. She said that due to the management's neglectful demeanor, her complaints were never looked into or addressed — that's why she decided to leave.
Like her, numerous former and current tenants complain about the neglectful property management arm of JK Westminster, Westminster Management. Some even say they are nothing but "slumlords."
They say that owners fail to keep the place clean, and that tenants often suffer living with black mold, mice infestations, and at times, even maggots, which are often ignored for long periods of time.
Tenants who found themselves in the worst situations, not being able to have their concerns addressed by management, ended up leaving the building before their leases were up. That's when the company would go after them with lawsuits.
After Trump moved into the White House, Kushner stepped down from Kushner Companies, but during the time people like Warren were being harassed and mistreated, he was in charge.
Is Kushner's wife, Ivanka Trump, who prides herself in fighting for women's rights, going to shed any tears for her husband's former tenants? Probably not.
Something tells us they will continue to ignore this and any other case of abuse involving Trump's son-in-law.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters