House

McCarthy rental from Luntz violated condo rules: Washington Post

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) rental of a room in GOP pollster Frank Luntz’s condo for at least two months during the pandemic apparently violated the building’s rules, according to bylaws first obtained by The Washington Post

According to the bylaws from the building, the Clara Barton at Penn Quarter, condo owners are not allowed to rent a portion of their unit for less than a six-month period.

“No portion of any Unit (other than the entire Unit) shall be leased for any period,” the bylaws state. “No Unit within the Buildings shall be rented for transient or hotel purposes. … No lease shall be for a term of less than six months.”

The bylaws also note that leases should be delivered in writing to the building’s board of directors. 

Under Washington, D.C., law, landlords who rent out a bedroom must fill out a form with the Office of Tax Revenue designating it as a business and are required to apply for a Basic Business License with the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, according to agency spokesman Jameel Harris.

The Post found that Luntz is not listed among the 90 Clara Barton residents who obtained such licenses, though a previous owner of one Luntz’s apartments is listed with an expired license. 

Quiana Bennett, assistant community manager at the Clara Barton, declined to comment to the Post when asked if the building was looking into whether Luntz violated community bylaws. 

“It is the policy of the Clara Barton and its management to respect the privacy of our unit owners, residents, guests, and staff,” she added. “We ask that The Washington Post extend the same courtesy to the members of our community.”

The Hill has reached out to McCarthy’s office and Luntz for comment. 

The Post noted that a spokesman for McCarthy did not respond to a request for comment and that Luntz did not respond to messages sent via email, text and Twitter. 

Last week, McCarthy confirmed that he had rented a room from Luntz “for a couple months.” 

“I didn’t know how this was controversial,” McCarthy said on “Fox & Friends” at the time. “Frank has been a friend of mine for more than 30 years. I met him with Newt Gingrich back when they were working on the Contract with America.” 

McCarthy added that he was “going back to where I normally am, on my couch in my office,” and “yes, we pay fair market rate.” 

Fox News host Tucker Carlson had questioned the night before whether McCarthy was violating House ethics rules by “living with a lobbyist for Google.” 

McCarthy pushed back on the assertion by saying, “Frank’s not a lobbyist. Frank’s a friend I knew 15 years before I ever got in and I just rented a room for a few months there. So I don’t see that there’s any problem along that line.”

Tags condo rental Fox News Frank Luntz GOP pollster House House ethics House minority leader Kevin McCarthy Landlord Newt Gingrich The Washington Post Tucker Carlson Washington D.C.

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