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Almost 20,000 Rental Properties owned by Companies in Atlanta; New Study reveals Shocking Statistics

Almost 20,000 Rental Properties owned by Companies in Atlanta; New Study reveals Shocking Statistics

Atlanta, GA: According to a recent survey by Taylor Shelton, a geographer at Georgia State University, three corporate landlords oversee about 11% of the single-family rental properties in the core counties of metro Atlanta.

Shelton, an assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences at Georgia State, and his collaborator Eric Seymour from Rutgers University, studied the ownership of rental properties in metro Atlanta. They discovered that over 19,000 of these properties were owned by only three companies: Invitation Homes, Pretium Partners, and Amherst Holdings.

The results were recently published in the article “Horizontal Holdings: Untangling the Networks of Corporate Landlords” in the Annals of the American Association of Geographers.

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“These companies possess a large number of properties in specific neighborhoods, giving them considerable market influence over tenants and renters due to their extensive property ownership in those areas,” stated Shelton.

Metro Atlanta is experiencing an affordable housing issue, potentially exacerbated by corporate landlords, as suggested by a book authored by GSU scholar Dan Immergluck. Since the 2007 foreclosure crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous local landlords and homeowners have sold their properties, allowing corporate landlords to acquire a significant number of homes for rental purposes.

Identifying the precise ownership of any object in this new environment can be exceedingly complex.

Several major corporations in the United States function through smaller entities known as limited liability companies, abbreviated as LLCs. LLCs associated with corporate landlord firms shield the parent company from liability or legal action initiated by tenants.

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“If a tenant successfully sues an LLC and is awarded damages and compensation for any harm suffered, only the assets owned by the LLC are considered when determining the amount of damages,” stated Shelton.

Shelton mentioned that corporate landlords often use many LLCs as a protective measure. The three largest landlord corporations in the core metro Atlanta counties of Fulton, Clayton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, and Cobb collectively own almost 190 limited liability companies (LLCs).

These limited liability corporations typically have numerous addresses, complicating the process of linking their locations to their parent companies.

Many of these major corporations are privately held and not listed on the stock market, making it difficult for the public to access information about their overall assets. Invitation Homes’ total property holdings are disclosed to the public due to its status as a publicly traded company, as mandated by records submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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