Tenants sue Trump over scheme that increased their rent: report

Tenants of various rent-controlled apartment buildings in New York have filed a lawsuit against President Trump and his siblings in the State Supreme Court in Brooklyn, claiming they are the victims of a longtime rent scheme run by their father Fred Trump, The New York Times reports.

The scheme, uncovered by The New York Times in 2018, reportedly involved tacking at least 20 percent onto the cost of building materials or appliances for buildings owned by Fred Trump, with the family then splitting the resulting profit. The family would allegedly then record the false number on an invoice, which they would submit as part of their rent increase application, according to the report.

The scheme then affected tenants, as New York law allows landlords to raise rents in rent-controlled apartments if major upkeep is done to the home. The price difference between what the Trump family paid for the materials and what they claimed they paid therefore ended up costing tenants, the Times wrote.

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The new lawsuit involves over 14,000 units spread across 30 apartment complexes belonging to Fred Trump between 1992 to 2004. The plaintiffs are seeking the extra rent paid, plus interest and triple damages, for former and current tenants alike, as the rent current tenants pay is a direct result of rent increases made during the Trump's time, according to the Times.

“You try so hard, and to hear something like this, it breaks my heart, because I believe they are just taking advantage of poor people,” Leonie Green, a Westminster Apartment tenant for more than 22 years, told the Times.

The Trump Organization did not immediately respond to The Hill's request for comment, however a Trump family spokesperson called the accusations outlined in the lawsuit "completely frivolous."