It should come as no surprise to learn that Jared Kushner, the baby faced son-in-law of President Donald Trump, got his start in real estate by renting out low end apartments.
The Boston Globe reports that when he was only an undergrad student at Harvard University, Kushner jumped into the real estate market by purchasing run down multi-family homes in the city of Somerville, just outside of Boston. His plan was to make some improvements and sell the properties at a profit.
The 19-year-old made himself a profit, all right, but he had a little help. Kushner’s multimillionaire daddy backed him in getting about nine million dollars in bank loans.
At this point in Massachusetts history, around 2002, Somerville was a worn down, gritty place, known by the locals as “Slummerville.” But the Boston revival was underway, with building, tourism, and housing all booming. Somerville was poised to go upscale.
And young Jared Kushner wanted to cash in.
To do that, according to some of his former tenants, he bent and broke laws, and skirted his responsibilities as a landlord.
In one instance, the four Harvard grad students living in one of Kushner’s apartments got a letter from him. It warned them about upcoming renovations that were supposed to happen while they lived there. Being the intelligent people they were, the tenants researched city law and found that busting up the apartment while people lived there would be illegal.
The work never did get done.
Other tenants told the Globe that during his years as a landlord of 40 apartments in the city, Kushner racked up 25 tenant complaints. The records showed tenant complaints included overflowing dumpsters, stinking sewage, and various pests. People complained about a lack of heating for a whole year.
Much like his father-in-law, Kushner also pinched pennies to the extreme, refusing to take care of the issues with his properties. He was willing to spend money on properties that he felt could be turned into condos, giving him a good return on his investment.
But he dragged his feet and hid behind a variety of management companies when it came to fixing heat, getting rid of bugs or emptying the trash.
Looking back on his behaviors as a brash young landlord, its easy to see why Jared Kushner fits in so well with the philosophy of the Republicans in control of Washington these days.
This video has more about the way Kushner ran his businesses: