News & Politics

Jared Kushner: White House Senior Adviser, Slumlord

A new report depicts Jared Kushner as a ruthless landlord who sues his low-income tenants until their deaths.

Photo Credit: lev radin / Shutterstock.com

Everyone is fully aware of Jared Kushner’s multitasking capabilities. The son-in-law of President Donald Trump wears many hats in the White House. He’s a senior adviser, the director of the Office of American innovation and is charged with fixing peace in the Middle East. He’s also a slumlord, apparently.

Alec MacGillis, reporting for New York Times Magazine, spoke with tenants of low-income housing in the Baltimore area that is managed by JK2 Westminster, Kushner’s management arm of his real estate empire.

One harrowing story — involving Joan Beverly, a probation agent who was named in a lawsuit brought by JK2 Westminster for $3,810.16 — epitomized the way Kushner’s real estate empire treated its tenants.

In 2010, Beverly’s daughter had moved out of a unit she rented months before her lease was up. Two years later, Kushner Companies bought the complex she had lived in, incurring the debt that was owed. Kushner Companies sued Beverly for several months of rent, plus $1,000 in repair costs and a $10 fine for failing to return a laundry room card, the story, co-published by the Times and ProPublica, reported.

Beverly was dealing with pancreatic cancer at the time, which caused extreme financial stress because she was not able to work. In the suit, Beverly submitted evidence showing financial hardship, but JK2 Westminster persisted with their case regardless. Baltimore County District Court eventually found in favor of Kushner’s company with a total judgment of $5,500 against Beverly.

She died two weeks later. The case is still pending in court, New York Times Magazine reported.

MacGillis spoke with Jennifer McLean, the chief financial officer of Kushner Companies, about its company’s litigious history.

“Westminster Management only takes legal action against a tenant when absolutely necessary,” McLean told New York Times Magazine. “If legal action is pursued, however, the company follows guidelines consistent with industry standards.”

McLean added: “While taking a tenant to court is far from an ideal outcome, that option — and clear rules governing it — must exist as a last resort.”

Read the full story in New York Times Magazine here.

 

Taylor Link is an assistant editor at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @taylorlink_.

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