As Supreme Court Lifts Eviction Moratorium with Tens of Billions in Assistance Still Available, Corporate Landlords Must Halt Evictions, Work with Residents to Access Assistance
With the US Supreme Court’s August 27 decision to lift the CDC eviction moratorium, private equity firms and other corporate landlords that have filed to evict at least 85,000 residents since the federal eviction moratorium took effect face a choice – work with residents to access the tens of billions of dollars in rental assistance or move forward with evictions, threatening the health of residents and the public as the country faces a new surge in COVID-19 cases.
To support struggling renters, Congress appropriated over $46 billion for direct rental assistance. Nevertheless, corporate landlords have filed more than 52,000 eviction actions since emergency rental assistance was authorized in January 2021 in the dozens of counties in Florida, Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, Arizona and Nevada where the Private Equity Stakeholder Project has tracked eviction filings. In July alone, corporate landlords filed more than 6,700 evictions in these states – even though $41 billion is still available for rental assistance.
Some large landlords have refused to accept rental assistance even after tenants have been approved.
For example, in late July Katrina Chism, a renter with private equity-owned Havenbrook Homes/ Front Yard Residential in Georgia, testified before a Congressional committee that her landlord had refused to accept rental assistance even after she was approved, moving forward with the eviction proceeding and forcing her and her son to move out: “Around mid-April I learned that my landlord had rejected the proposal outright. HavenBrook didn’t even come back with a counter offer to tell me how much I could pay to stay in my home,” Chism testified in July, adding, “Havenbrook made it clear they wanted me out instead of accepting rental assistance.”
Havenbrook Homes/ Front Yard Residential is owned by private equity firms Pretium Partners and Ares Management. Pretium Partners has filed to evict nearly 1,300 residents since Congress made tens of billions of dollars of rental assistance available in December 2020.
In March, rental home giant Invitation Homes evicted Marvia Robinson, a bus driver in Florida, after the company refused to accept $4,000 in county program funds from Robinson. Invitation Homes told Robinson it was not participating in the program “due to the landlord restrictions.”
– Georgia: Corporate landlords in July filed at least 2,155 eviction actions in DeKalb, Clayton, and Chatham counties. In DeKalb and Clayton counties – both majority Black– corporate evictions accounted for 85 percent and 96 percent, respectively, of all evictions filed in July. In Chatham County, which is a majority white county, corporate landlords accounted for 54 percent of all July filings. In all three counties, more than $33 million in rental assistance was still available as of July 31.
– Texas:Corporate landlords filed at least 2,000 eviction actions in July in Harris (Houston) and Tarrant (Fort Worth) counties – an eight percent increase from last month. In these counties, corporate landlords accounted for more than half of all July filings. These evictions come as Harris County recorded more than 50,000 active COVID-19 cases last week for the first time since January.
– Tennessee: In Shelby County (Memphis) corporate landlords filed at least 790 evictions in July. Corporate landlords were responsible for 60 percent of all eviction filings in the county last month.
– Florida: Amidst record-breaking numbers of COVID-19 cases in Florida, corporate landlords have filed at least 1,744 eviction actions in several counties throughout the state. Last week, Florida recorded more than 56,000 new COVID-19 cases in a single day. Despite record hospitalizations and deaths in the state, corporate landlords filed twice as many evictions as they filed in Florida in May, before the surge.
– Arizona: Corporate landlords filed at least 1,622 evictions in Maricopa County (Phoenix) in June. Corporate landlords accounted for more than half of all June filings in the county.
Some of the most notable filers in July include:
– Ventron Management: Filed at least 171 new eviction actions in July and 1,641 since the CDC eviction moratorium went into effect last September. Almost all of Ventron Management’s eviction filings were in DeKalb County, Georgia and accounted for 11 percent of all corporate landlord evictions filed there in July.
– Pretium Partners (Progress Residential, Front Yard Residential):Filed at least 58 new eviction actions in July and almost 1,300 since Congress allocated tens of billions of dollars to rental assistance in late December.
– Fillmore Capital Partners:Filed at least 82 eviction actions in July, all of which were in DeKalb County, Georgia.
– Amherst Holdings (Main Street Renewal):Filed at least 67 new eviction actions in July and 470 since January.
– American Landmark Apartments/ Electra America: Filed over 100 eviction actions in July, including more than 60 filings in Texas even as the state has faced a surge in new COVID-19 cases.
– Camden Property Trust: Filed at least 63 eviction actions in July and has filed to evict at least 348 residents since January.
A list of the top 50 eviction filers in 2021 is below.
|Landlord||Total Filings Since Start of Rental Assistance Program (Jan 2021 – present)||July Filings|
|VENTRON MANAGEMENT, LLC||992||171|
|AMERICAN LANDMARK APARTMENTS/ ELECTRA AMERICA||546||101|
|REEDY & COMPANY||93||93|
|FILLMORE CAPITAL PARTNERS||112||82|
|VILLA SERENA COMMUNITIES||415||77|
|AMERICAN HOMES 4 RENT||179||74|
|MAIN STREET RENEWAL||467||64|
|CAMDEN PROPERTY TRUST||348||63|
|FEDERAL CAPITAL PARTNERS||282||62|
|PRETIUM PARTNERS (PROGRESS RESIDENTIAL, FRONT YARD RESIDENTIAL)||1,291||58|
|CROWN BAY GROUP||330||54|
|TORO REAL ESTATE PARTNERS||77||52|
|GOLDOLLER REAL ESTATE INVESTMENTS||245||49|
|ADAMS INVESTOR GROUP||270||49|
|BLUE MAGMA RESIDENTIAL||417||46|
|AVILA REAL ESTATE||293||45|
|HARBOR GROUP INTERNATIONAL||359||45|
|NIRVANA CAPITAL GROUP||58||45|
|INDEPENDENCE REALTY TRUST||213||42|
|CODE REAL ESTATE PARTNERS||117||41|
|JWB REAL ESTATE CAPITAL||156||41|
|MID SOUTH BEST RENTALS||38||38|
|RIVER VALLEY COMMUNITIES||225||31|
|MAKOWSKY RINGEL GREENBERG||31||31|
|BLUE ROC PREMIER||209||30|
|PROVENCE REAL ESTATE||151||29|
|STRATA EQUITY GROUP||158||28|
|MAS CAPITAL GROUP LLC||28||28|
|MID-AMERICA APARTMENT COMMUNITIES||502||25|
 Due to delays in Arizona reporting, we have included the latest available data.