Media coverage

Tampa Bay Times : Tampa tenants say Pretium Partners-owned Progress Residential puts profits ahead of renters

February 23, 2024

A new investigative series by the Tampa Bay Times reveals that the largest landlords in the Tampa Bay area are investment firms, including Pretium Partners-owned Progress Residential. Of the 27,000 homes owned by large companies in the area, over 70% are linked to Wall Street investors and private equity.

Tampa Bay Times, February 1, 2024: How corporate investors are taking over Tampa Bay’s neighborhoods

Tampa Bay Times, February 14, 2024: This private equity firm built a Tampa Bay rental empire

According to an analysis by the Times, corporate purchases of single-family homes in the Tampa Bay area spiked during the pandemic, comprising 5% of home sales in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties in 2021. In 2020, that figure was just 1.5%. 

Ownership of single-family homes by a small group of corporate investors has been linked to rent hikes and increased sales costs as well as a shutout of individual homebuyers. According to the Times, corporate home purchases have been concentrated in areas with below-average median incomes and in majority-Black neighborhoods. 

“Once a corporate landlord buys a home, it’s pretty much off the market for good,” PESP’s director of housing, Jordan Ash, told the Tampa Bay Times.

The investigation by the Times also explored how private equity-backed rental company Progress Residential’s large presence in the Tampa area impacts tenants. According to the Times, local tenants have complained that Progress has consistently put profits ahead of tenants: 

The Times interviewed tenants in eight households renting from Progress Residential in Tampa Bay and other parts of Florida. They describe spending futile days or weeks trying to arrange maintenance for broken HVAC systems and water damage. They chronicle frequent glitches in the company’s payment platform, along with unexplained charges and heavy-handed fees.

PESP’s Mad Bankson told the Tampa Bay Times that slashing spending and increasing revenue was par for the course for private equity-backed companies. “They’re threatened by not getting future investment,” Bankson said. “It makes this housing a much worse place to live.”

To learn more about how private equity impacts renters, check out PESP’s 2023 report, “Blackstone Comes to Collect: How America’s Largest Landlord and Wall Street’s Highest Paid CEO Are Jacking Up Rents and Ramping Up Evictions.” The report explores the case of San Diego, where the housing market has become increasingly unaffordable, throwing more families into homelessness. Blackstone’s aggressiveness as the third largest landlord in the area in hiking up rents for its thousands of units only adds to the problem.

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