Tenants Sue Kushner Companies in Rent-Stabilization Lawsuit

A lawsuit, which seeks class action status, against Kushner Companies alleges that the company violated rent stabilization laws at a Brooklyn Heights building. The lawsuit puts a spotlight on Jared Kushner, the former CEO of the firm and top White House adviser who continues to hold a stake in the Brooklyn Heights property.

The 48-unit apartment building was first converted to religious housing for the Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1989, and later became a dorm for Brooklyn Law School. In 2014, it was bought for $14.3 million by Kushner Companies. According to the complaint, apartments at the building had for more than two decades been temporarily exempt from rent stabilization, due to a law that makes exceptions for buildings used for institutional purposes, such as for schools, hospitals, or religious organizations. With the Kushner Companies acquisition, however, the building went back into the private sector, and the building’s apartments were required to become rent stabilized again. But Kushner Companies did not comply with that requirement, according to the lawsuit, filed in Kings County State Supreme Court, and instead leased many apartments in the building at market rates.

The tenants are demanding monetary damages equivalent to the amount of rent overcharge, plus interest.