New York City’s Department of Buildings hit Kushner Companies with 42 violations totaling $210,000 for submitting false permits, which it allegedly used to force out rent-protected tenants to sell units at higher prices, according to a Monday New York Times report.
A Kushner Companies spokeswoman has attributed the violations to “paperwork errors.”
According to a report tenant activists issued Monday, an investment group headed by Michael Cohen has also allegedly falsified construction permits by lying about how many rent-stabilized tenants occupy the buildings. That group has not been fined.
Per the Times, landlords are required to report how many rent-stabilized tenants there are in their buildings as part of the process of obtaining construction permits. This rule is in place to ensure that landlords don’t use the construction process as harassment to force out those tenants paying cheap rents.
In one instance, the Cohen group reportedly said that there were no rent-stabilized tenants in a property that actually had 19. After all the construction, only 11 of those tenants remained, some of whom filed complaints about the drilling-related noise and dust making the apartments uninhabitable.
The Buildings Department reportedly investigated six complaints at that property but found no violations.
Similar complaints have been made at Kushner properties, where loud construction and resulting toxic plumes of dust and smoke allegedly became so untenable that they forced out rent-stabilized tenants.