Man­age­ment of lo­cal apart­ments fined for county code vi­o­la­tions

The Dundalk Eagle - - FRONT PAGE - By GIANNA DECARLO gde­carlo@ches­pub.com

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.

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Kush­ner Com­pa­nies’ West­min­ster Man­age­ment owns Dun­dalk’s Charlesmont Apart­ments.

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