The state of Maryland is suing the real estate company partly owned by Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, over allegedly shabby and dangerous conditions at its Baltimore rental properties.
Democratic Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said Westminster Management broke consumer protection laws in the thousands of apartments and townhouses its parent, Kushner Companies, rents to mainly low-income and middle-class families.
Frosh said the company took advantage of its tenants by "collecting fees and other unlawful costs from them and often failing to make repairs needed to maintain suitable environments."
Frosh said problems included such hazardous conditions as infestations of rodents and vermin, water leaks and mold.
The state alleged Westminster illegally refused to return security deposits because of damage not caused by the tenants and such minor problems as worn carpeting.
A spokeswoman for Kushner Companies disputed the allegations, calling Frosh an "ambitious attorney general who clearly cares more about scoring political points than fighting real crime and improving the lives of the people of Maryland."
Earlier this year, Trump called Baltimore a "rat and rodent infested mess," and mocked city leaders, including the late Democratic U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings, for what he called their failure to fix the city's problems.