New York, July 17 (IANS) New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is launching a probe to determine if President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner’s family real estate company harassed tenants at a Brooklyn property so that they would leave their rent-stabilised apartments.
The announcement by the Democratic Governor on Monday comes after tenants at the Austin Nichols House on Kent Avenue in Williamsburg filed a lawsuit and said the company started major construction that released dangerous toxins in the air, reports CNN.
They charge that the building was unlivable for tenants, with excessive noise and vermin running rampant.
“Governor Cuomo has zero tolerance for tenant abuse of any kind and we will aggressively take on landlords who try to intimidate people out of their homes,” said New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas.
Twenty current and former tenants of the property filed a lawsuit on Monday seeking $10 million in punitive damages plus whatever a jury decides for compensatory damages.
Construction at the location began in April 2016.
Tenants reached out to Housing Rights Initiative about the Kushner Companies construction around June of 2017.
They conducted their own data analysis and determined that there was widespread lead, lung carcinogens and other poisonous cancer-causing materials.
In response to the development, a spokesman for Kushner Companies said the lawsuit was “totally without merit” and that residents “were fully informed about the planned renovation and all work was completed under the full supervision by the New York City Department of Buildings and other regulatory agencies, with full permits and with no violations for these claims”, CNN reported.
“Tenants were never pressured to leave their apartments and the market-rate rent stabilization was — and continues to be — complied with under applicable rent guidelines,” he added.