The garbage piled in the back yard included decomposing rat carcasses

Speaking of rats, and garbage, and filthy conditions…it turns out Prince Jared is a slum landlord who turns a blind eye to such conditions for his tenants.

The refuse piled in the back yard of 118 East 4th Street was “Dickensian,” says longtime tenant Jennifer Hengen. It filled the sunken yard at least five steps high, and included “decomposing rat carcasses.” The building also went without gas for almost five months. Tenants got service turned back on in early March after they filed an “HP action” lawsuit in Housing Court demanding repairs from their landlord, Jared Kushner, and then filed a motion to hold him in contempt after his representatives didn’t show up for the first hearing.

That was 2016, before the prince’s anointing.

The building is one of more than 50 that Kushner—who married Donald Trump’s eldest daughter Ivanka in 2009—has acquired over the last four years. He has spent more than $400 million buying portfolios of properties in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Astoria, but most are in the East Village, making him the neighborhood’s second-largest landlord after the notorious Steven Croman, says Brandon Kielbasa, an organizer with the Cooper Square Committee.

At least 40 of his buildings were purchased from Ben Shaoul and Stone Street Properties, owners who specialized in buying buildings that contained large numbers of rent-stabilized tenants, and inducing them to leave with a combination of trumped-up eviction notices, buyout offers, and messy, all-hours construction in the vacated apartments. Once the empty apartments were renovated, they could be rented out at luxury rates.

Kushner, who also owns the NY Observer, has used those tactics, but usually buys buildings that have “already been worked over,” says Kielbasa, who has worked with tenants in buildings owned by Kushner and Shaoul. Kushner, he says, treats both rent-stabilized and market-rate tenants badly, and seems to feel that he can get away with not maintaining buildings because the housing market is so tight he can keep them full anyway.

He can’t spend money on maintaining buildings, he has to spend it on luxuries for self and family.

Garbage is the most common complaint. At 170 East 2nd Street, “by Sunday, you couldn’t walk in the hallways,” says Siwek. “Garbage was out of control,” says one East Village tenant. “Garbage everywhere,” says another. At 118 East 4th, Hengen says, the problems began when Westminster began putting garbage in the back yard because they were getting summonses for putting it in front of the building.

Interesting detail in the circumstances, isn’t it?

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