During Donald Trump’s presidential campaign last year, it came to light that both he and his father had paid settlements after being sued for racial discrimination in housing. Recently, it was discovered that Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, had engaged in shady practices against former tenants.
An exposé published in the New York Times Magazine and on the Pro Publica website revealed numerous instances of abuse by Kushner’s company, JK2 Westminster LLC. The case of Kamiia Warren was especially shocking and heinous.
Warren moved into an Essex, Maryland, townhouse in 2004. She had three children and wanted to raise them in a better environment away from the East Baltimore slums. When the next-door neighbor began attacking visitors and pounding on the walls, Warren reported it to management. When she received no response, she gave notice to transfer her Section 8 to another location and moved out in January 2010. The manager signed the forms and indicated that Warren had given proper notice.
In 2013, Warren was shocked to receive a summons that informed her she was being sued for $3,014 over her move from the townhouse. Even more surprising was the management company that was suing her was not Sawyer Realty Holdings but JK2 Westminster LLC. Thinking the whole thing was a mistake, she ignored the summons and went on raising her children and earning her college degree.
After more summons arrived, Warren decided to go to court. She did not bring the paperwork that indicated she had moved out of the townhouse legally. The court ruled against her and also ordered her to pay the legal costs of JK2 Westminster. This brought the judgment to $5,000.
In late 2014, Warren still owed the money, and the court ruled against her again because she did not provide the paperwork. Three days before Christmas, her wages were garnished, and her bank account was cleaned out. This left Warren with no way to pay her bills and feed her children.
Since that time, Warren has lived without a bank account because she fears JK2 Westminster will steal from her again. When asked why she did not hire a lawyer and fight back, Warren said that she cannot afford it, and she would not likely win. She added that companies like JK2 Westminster know how to work the system against poor people.
Currently, the Maryland District Court system shows 550 pending cases involving JK2 Westminster. That number does not take into account any cases related to individual housing developments and apartment complexes. Other Kushner companies have sued dead people, charged tenants for basic maintenance and refused to deal with rodents, mold, maggots and sewage.
Jared Kushner is one of President Trump’s top advisers, and the news about how he treats his tenants has caused some to question whether he is really watching America’s back.