After extensive reporting by ProPublica and the Baltimore Sun revealed the Kushner Companies's predatory property management practices in Baltimore, a Maryland state delegate has put forth legislation that would limit arrests of tenants who fall behind on rent.
As the Sun reports, the Jared Kushner Act as proposed by Delegate Bilal Ali would end the practice of civil arrests, or "body attachments", of tenants who are behind less than $5,000 on their rent. These arrests typically occur when a tenant doesn't show up in court for a debt hearing after a judgment is issued against them.
The Kushner Companies relied heavily on this court process to pursue debts, filing over 1,250 legal actions between 2013 and August 2017. The company also pursued the arrest of 105 tenants; at least 20 tenants were arrested as a result. Jared Kushner, current senior advisor to the president, was CEO of Kushner Companies until January 2017 and still holds interests in most of the company's real estate portfolio.
“Our local counsel in Maryland handled these matters consistent with other attorneys in similar situations there and in accordance with Maryland law," company spokesperson Chris Taylor told the Sun in a statement. “For a couple of local politicians to sponsor a bill called the Jared Kushner Act when neither Kushner Companies nor Jared Kushner, when he worked at Kushner Companies, had anything to do with these issues is petty.”
Current and former tenants of the 17 properties Kushner Companies and Howard Lorber’s New Valley own in Maryland filed suit in September, alleging the landlord inflated fees and additional costs.
This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/the-kushner-act-aims-to-empower-tenants/13518.
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