Jared Kushner

Sipa USA

NYC Councilman: Kushner Firm Flouted Rules, Endangered Tenants

March 20, 2019 - 10:18 am
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880/AP) -- A New York City councilman investigating the Kushner family real estate company says it is putting tenants in danger by allowing several of its building to avoid safety inspections.
 
New York Oversight Committee Chair Ritchie Torres said Tuesday that his probe shows the firm once run by President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has been renting apartments to hundreds of tenants in nine buildings with expired certificates of occupancy. The certificates are issued by city regulators to ensure there is no illegal construction or fire hazards.

"Every building built before 1938 is expected to have a certificate of occupancy which tells you whether a building is safe, it tells you whether you as a New Yorker can safely live, or safely work or safely be in a building. Just like it is illegal for a driver to operate a vehicle without a driver's license, it is illegal for an owner to operate a building without a certificate of occupancy," Torres told WCBS 880. 

Torres says the burden is on the Buildings Department to take enforcement action.

"The Buildings Department is supposed to enforce the building code and ensure that every building in New York City is operating safely," Torres said. "We have to send a message that Kushner Companies, not even the family of Donald Trump, is above the law."

Torres said the next phase of their investigation is to establish how "widespread the problem is in the industry."
 
The regulator, the Buildings Department, has called the findings "paperwork lapses'' and blasted the findings as "pure grandstanding.''
 
The Kushner Cos. says it is working with regulators to correct "various issues'' inherited from previous landlords and is "committed to the safety our residents.'' 

(© 2019 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report)