Brooklyn tenants sue Kushner Companies over rents

- Some tenants in Brooklyn are suing a business once run by Jared Kushner, the president's son-in law and close adviser. The lawsuit claims that Kushner Companies failed to provide rent-stabilized leases to tenants as required at a beautiful building in Brooklyn Heights.

Aaron Carr is the head of the nonprofit Housing Rights Initiative. He led the research in this case. He said that when Kushner Companies bought the building in 2014 all the units should have been rent-stabilized but only 10 percent were.

The lawsuit was filed in a Brooklyn courtroom Tuesday on behalf of nine tenants. The suit concludes that more than 100 former and current tenants could have similar claims. The complaint is seeking class-action status.

Carr said that landlords exploit a power imbalance because almost every landlord has a lawyer while most tenants do not.

The building was previously owned by Brooklyn Law School. Because the law school didn't rent the apartments to the public, units previously covered by the state's rent-stabilization laws were temporarily exempt.

Under New York State law, any building of six apartments or more built before 1974, or new buildings that have received certain types of property tax breaks, must charge rents that conform with the state's rent-stabilization laws

Carr said that overcharges are prevalent throughout the city because of a lack of oversight and enforcement.

A Kushner Companies spokesperson told Fox 5 that the company is reviewing the lawsuit.

Jared Kushner stepped down as CEO of Kushner Companies in January when he joined the Trump White House.

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