Media coverage

Reuters: As US investors buy up rental homes, cities and tenants push back

March 15, 2023

Reuters reported how corporate investors “piled into the U.S. property market during the COVID-19 pandemic, in part as many smaller landlords were hit hard by non-payment from tenants who were protected by eviction moratoria.”

See: Reuters; The Daily Herald; Thomas Reuters Foundation: Context

Enrique Velázquez, director of the Minneapolis city’s property inspections division told Reuters, “They would acquire (them) from foreclosure and then flip them into rental properties – just to grab the money, in some respect, and not necessarily do the work that we require of responsible property ownership.”

After campaigning by residents, the Minneapolis City Council in January struck a legal agreement imposing rental license conditions on property rental firm Front Yard Residential, which is connected to national property company Progress Residential, a subsidiary of investment company Pretium Partners which owns 221 properties in the city.

Americans for Financial Reform told Reuters that corporate landlords typically raise rents, impose new charges and skimp on building upkeep, which estimated last year that at least 1.6 million families rented homes owned by private equity firms.

PESP’s housing research coordinator Madeline Bankson said that corporate ownership has been particularly concentrated in certain areas including North Carolina, Texas, Florida, Arizona and Georgia.

The article also reported on Southern Towers tenants who began to organize after private equity firm CIM Group bought their homes, and then were subjected to rental hikes, changes in utility billing that have further driven up costs, maintenance concerns and more.

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