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Tools for Tackling Corporate Landlords Part 1

April 11, 2023

Private Equity Stakeholder Project has launched a new report series titled “Tools for Tackling Corporate Landlords.” The series outlines state and local policy options for mitigating the negative impacts of institutional housing investment on tenants. Because private equity firms seek to turn a high profit margin on a tight timeline, tenants frequently experience home maintenance problems, unresponsive management, and few options overall for securing affordable, stable housing.

The first segment of the report series covers landlord registries, licensing, and proactive rental inspections. In part 1, PESP’s Madeline Bankson recommends the implementation of landlord registries that require landlords to report each property’s beneficial ownership, making it easier for governments to identify patterns of behavior across a landlord’s entire portfolio. It also discusses proactive rental inspection, which combines a requirement for landlords to register their properties with a regulatory procedure that ensures that each property is in habitable condition. Finally, Bankson covers how licensing can be leveraged to revoke the rights of bad actors to lease their properties, as well as to limit the number of properties a single entity can operate altogether.

While many states have preempted the ability of municipalities to create such policies, the report highlights example policies from Minneapolis and Toronto in hopes of inspiring other municipalities to take action against housing speculation and uplift tenants’ rights. In doing so, it shows that bold pro-tenant reforms are not only possible, but essential.

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