What's News?‎ > ‎

Investor landlords

Corporations take over rental housing at all levels.-- new challenges for renters and communities


Are mom and pop landlords becoming an urban legend?

    Who owns rental housing is changing before our eyes. In the aftermath of the Great Recession, investor owners are gobbling up rental properties at every level from single family to large multifamily buildings. New data from the Joint Center for Housing Studies confirms what we've been learning about rental housing from news stories: rental owners are increasingly owned by investors. Mom & Pop who lives down the street and collects rent to pay their own mortgages is becoming an urban legend. Even Mom & Pop owners are incorporating and they are joining the local chapter of the Real Estate Investors Association.

    Corporate and absentee ownership is not just a "coastal" thing. Lots of news stories report that cities like Cleveland,  Columbus Dayton suburb Huber Heights and Toledo are hot markets for investor owners.

    Here's some ideas of how things may be  changing for tenants.

1. Your landlord lives in Dubai or Hong Kong. You can't walk down the street or even across town to tell him or her about the backed up sink. Most likely there's a 1-800 number with an answering machine...or else a webpage with an electronic form to fill out and submit.

2. If you have a rental dispute, you will need to be able to plan like a lawyer or have a lawyer. A study by the Atlanta Federal Reserve suggests that corporate owners are more likely to head to eviction court than to "work it out."

    If you are a social service provider, it's less likely that you'll be able to call a local landlord who often times has a vacancy and is sometimes willing to take a chance on a "high risk" tenant. This week we learned that Pennsylvania is beginning a program to pay landlords to waive stringent admission criteria to house "high risk" tenants. Who is "high risk?" Tenants with bad credit scores, a criminal background or a history of evictions. Just a decade ago, a "mom landlord" in Mansfield told RHINO that she always rented to folks who had been through bankruptcy because "they have learned their lesson...they pay on time and in full" That's not the way landlording works now.

    For advocates, community planners and program managers, absentee and corporate ownership makes it hard to know who is a decision maker and who's just a placeholder. In Akron, seniors is a senior-only building are being harassed by grandchildren and guests of one of the residents. The local manager is helpless to do anything. "That's up to 'corporate' to handle." After a lot of phone calls and emails, it turns out that the key decision maker is the corporation's attorney. After weeks, the problem is getting some attention.

Civic engagement, political participation and community building can suffer. If you are a homeowner in a single family neighborhood, your neighbors are increasingly likely to be a tenant. They may moving soon to follow a job. Why bother to form a street club, or hold an event, or register a tenant to vote? Leaders at all levels will need to reshape their messages to include the new "renter nation."  

    As far as tenants dealing with corporate owners, here's some basics: Know your rights. Put everything in writing. Keep copies.

posted 8-26-17
 
 What's News?




 Notes & Links 

Single family Rental

Rent to own or Contract to Deed scams

Moms&Pops incorporate



Subpages (1): Single Family Rental
Comments