NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on disclosures that the Kushner Cos. filed false documents with the New York City (all times local):
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says the Kushner Cos. may have a “problem on their hands” if it proves true it lied to the city about rent-regulated tenants in their buildings.
The mayor’s comment Monday came after The Associated Press reported that tenant rights watchdog Housing Rights Initiative found that the Kushner Cos. had filed more than 80 documents stating that it had no rent-regulated units in its buildings when it, in fact, had hundreds.
The mayor said it is “not acceptable to lie when you’re filling out a form for the city government.” He also said the city should do a better job cross checking building documents with tax documents held at different city agencies to make sure developers are telling the truth.
The New York attorney general is looking into a watchdog group’s report alleging that the Kushner Cos. filed false documents that helped it harass low-paying, rent-regulated tenants and replace them with higher-paying ones.
A statement from the office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says, “We are very concerned about the allegations raised in the report and will be meeting with tenant representatives in the coming days.”
The announcement comes after a New York City councilman on Monday said he is launching an investigation into the Kushner Cos.
The Associated Press reported Sunday that tenant rights watchdog group Housing Rights Initiative found that the Kushner Cos. had filed more than 80 documents stating that it had no rent-regulated units in its buildings when it, in fact, had hundreds.
A New York City official is launching an investigation into falsified documents filed by the Kushner Cos. with the city, saying that they should have been discovered earlier because the documents were hidden in plain sight.
Councilman Ritchie Torres says that the Department of Buildings should have spotted the falsified numbers because paperwork at the city taxation agency contradicted them. The Associated Press reported Sunday that a tenant rights watchdog group found that the Kushner Cos. had filed more than 80 documents stating that it had no rent-regulated units in its buildings. It had hundreds.
The falsified documents allowed the Kushner Cos. to escape extra scrutiny during construction projects that the watchdog group said led to harassment of rent regulated tenants.
Jared Kushner’s family real estate company routinely has filed false documents with New York City claiming it had no rent-regulated tenants in its buildings when, in fact, it had hundreds.
Documents compiled by a tenants’ rights group and shared with The Associated Press show the Kushner Cos. filed at least 80 construction applications over three years claiming it had zero rent-regulated tenants in 34 buildings. Tax records show those buildings actually had more than 300 rent-regulated units.
Tenant advocates say the tactic is used by landlords to avoid protections that prevent them from forcing out low-paying tenants.
The Kushner Cos. says it outsources the preparations of such documents and fixes any mistakes immediately. Records show the company did file some amended documents, often more than a year later.