By John Anesse New York Daily News Oct 12, 2018
A Brooklyn judge refused to toss a lawsuit that accuses one of Jared Kushner’s real estate companies of ignoring rent-stabilization laws, the Daily News has learned.
The lawsuit, filed in November in Brooklyn Supreme Court by the Housing Rights Initiative, accused Kushner Companies and two Kushner-owned firms of disregarding a law requiring an 18-unit building at 18 Sidney Place be restabilized after the firm bought it from Brooklyn Law School in 2014.
Student housing is exempt from rent-stabilization laws, but those laws come back into play if that holding is sold to a private landlord, which it was in 2014. The Kushner business only registered two of the 18 units as rent-stabilized, the lawsuit alleges. A July 2017 article in the Real Deal showed a one-bedroom apartment renting for $3,850.
Kushner Companies sought to have the lawsuit dismissed against all parties, but Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Edgar Walker allowed the suit to proceed against 18 Sidney Place LLC and Westminster Management — both owned by Kushner.
The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status covering current and former tenants, will now move to the discovery phase, Housing Rights Initiative Executive Director Aaron Carr said Thursday.
“Time to flip over the rock and see what’s crawling underneath,” Carr said. “This is going to be interesting.”
Carr’s group has accused Kushner Companies of running a “predatory business model,” and filed a lawsuit in August 2017 for a similar situation at a 48-unit building at 89 Hicks St.
Jared Kushner, a White House senior adviser, and President Trump’s son-in-law stepped down as Kushner Companies’ CEO in January 2017.
Kushner Companies did not return a message seeking comment Thursday night.
A Kushner Companies spokeswoman said last year the suit was without merit and that the firm legally charges market rate rents.