Before he was the right hand man (and son-in-law) of the president-elect, Jared Kushner was just your run-of-the mill scion of an incarcerated real estate mogul, who also got his rocks off running a local newspaper into the ground. For the past four years, he’s also tried his hand at being a landlord to over fifty properties on the Lower East Side, a position that has saddled him with descriptions like “apex scavenger,” and charges of neglect from tenants. And now comes a report that his company isn’t even paying the bills.
According to EV Grieve, Con Ed is now threatening to turn off the electricity to common areas of a row of East 9th Street houses that Kushner owns for failing to pay $700.47 in electricity bills. While the apartments themselves won’t lose power, as the tenants have their own accounts with Con Ed, the hallways and basement could be stripped of electricity if Kushner’s company, Westminster Management, doesn’t pony up.
On a letter dated December 5th, Con Ed wrote: “We regret to notify you that because KUSHNER VILLAGE 329 has not paid past due bills for $700.47 and a $525.00 security deposit on account number 41-7027-7325-0002-0, we will have to turn off service unless we receive payment by January 4, 2017.”
In a few years, when we’re no longer living in neighborhoods, but either KUSHNER VILLAGE or MELANIA TRIANGLE or BARRON GARDENS, won’t it just suck when the lights go off?
DNAinfo called Westminster, who told them it was a problem with the payment company, and not with Kushner’s cash flow. Kushner bought the properties after many rent-stabilized tenants had been forced out by notorious developer Ben Shaoul. Since buying the properties, Kushner’s tenants have accused his company of turning off electricity without warning, flooding basements, and just being generally unresponsive to tenant complaints.
Its raison d’etre seems to be to ignore tenant complaints until the tenants take a buyout offer.
“[Westminster] doesn’t harass you,” a tenant told The Villager. “Every few months they put a notice up for a buyout. They just don’t fix anything.”
This Con Ed episode seems par for the course for the company, whose owner will now be consulting directly with the president. Here’s hoping once the country starts falling apart, Kushner comes forward with some of those cushy buyouts.