Management of local apartments fined for county code violations
The management of a local apartment complex has been fined for more than 170 code violations across the county, officials announced last week.
Kushner Companies LLC, the family company of Jared
Kushner, the senior adviser and son-in-law to President Donald Trump, has reportedly failed to pay $3,500 in fines for code violations acquired over the past calendar year in multiple Baltimore County properties. In total, the company owns 13 complexes in Baltimore County including Charlesmont Apartments in Dundalk.
Reports claimed that Kushner properties were being neglectfully managed and used aggressive rent-collecting techniques such as arresting tenants until they paid back their debts.
“Contrary to the assertions of the Kushner Cos. that they are in compliance with local laws, our inspectors identified and cited more than 200 code violations in properties owned by Jared Kushner,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz (D).
Kamenetz is running for the Democratic nomination for governor in the 2018 Maryland gubernatorial election.
“Repairs were made only after the county threatened to withhold rent or issue fines,” Kamenetz continued, “And in nine instances, we had to carry through with threatened sanctions. We expect all landlords to comply with the code requirements that protect the health and safety of their tenants, even if the landlord’s father-in-law is President of the United States.”
According to Kamenetz, several of these units were supported by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds that were used to goad the company to address problems within the development.
“Only when HUD funds were threatened to be with- held were necessary repairs made. In six cases, HUD payments were withheld by the county in order to mandate the repairs,” a county press release stated.
Necessary repairs were made to all but three properties, which have resulted in the $3,500 fine. A release from Kamenetz said five new complaints were recently received and are still under investigation by county code inspectors.
In August, Maryland lawmakers including U.S. Sens. Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin (both D-MD) and Reps. Elijah Cummings (D7), Dutch Ruppersberger (D- 2), John Sarbanes (D-3) and Anthony G. Brown (D-4), sent a letter to the Kushner Company requesting documents and information on the names and occupancy of each property, the amount of funding and subsidies received by the companies, lease agreements for each residence, all civil actions filed by Kushner against tenants and more.
“In addition, the New York Times and ProPublica recently documented how tenants who live in properties owned and managed by Kushner Companies entities have experienced ‘poor upkeep, including appliance failures, mold, mildew and rodent infestations,’” stated the congressional members’ letter.
The documents were expected by Sept. 7.
Last week, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh announced that he would also be investigating Kushner properties after hearing the reports of mismanagement and coercive money-collecting.
“Baltimore County will continue to be vigilant in its effort to ensure that residents of Mr. Kushner’s properties have healthy and safe places to live,” said Kamenetz.
Kushner Companies’ Westminster Management owns Dundalk’s Charlesmont Apartments.