The report highlights housing policies that would curb abuses by corporate landlords and existing housing laws.
Today, the Private Equity Stakeholder Project (PESP) released the latest installment of its Tools for Tackling Corporate Landlords policy report series, which focuses on combating real estate consolidation through pro-competitive policy reforms, portfolio caps, transfer taxes, and right of first refusal legislation.
The report provides an analysis of state-based policies and laws that would protect tenants in various parts of the country from abuse and fraud by corporate landlords.
“Across the country, private equity-backed corporate landlords are taking advantage of tenants, making housing less affordable, and exacerbating the renters’ crisis,” said Madeline Bankson, Private Equity Stakeholder Project Housing Research Coordinator and co-author of the report. “Because private equity demands high, short-term profit, tenants are frequently harassed, abused, and displaced in the name of increasing investment returns. This report details a wide array of policies from across the country that have the potential to protect tenants and make housing more affordable. It is our recommendation that these policies be enacted across the United States so that millions of tenants can secure housing that is safe, affordable, and stable..”
Among the policies highlighted in the report are:
- The Home Ownership Market Manipulation Act in North Carolina, which sought to place caps on the number of single family properties a single landlord can own in some areas;
- A Minnesota ban on rental property conversions, meant to stabilize the supply of housing and lower costs for consumers,
- The Corporate Landlord Accountability Act in California, which would prevent corporations from buying bundles of foreclosed, under-valuedproperties only to sell or rent them at inflated rates; and,
- The Stop Predatory Investing Act – introduced in the United States Senate by Senator Sherrod Brown – would prevent investors who own 50 or more single-family rental units from claiming interest or depreciation tax deductions on those units.
“These policies, if enacted widely and properly, could significantly lessen the precarity faced by millions of low income and middle class renters in the United States,” said Bankson. “The Private Equity Stakeholder Project is working to ensure that profit does not come at the cost of people’s basic needs. We want to see people across the country safe and secure, and affordable, quality housing would go a long way in doing just that. In a time of historic advocacy from the renters rights movement, there are now unprecedented opportunities to enact bold political strategies that prioritize communities over corporations.”