• Sun. Oct 1st, 2023

    The Growing Problem of Predatory Residential Property Companies

    ByJames Forsyth

    Sep 20, 2023
    The Growing Problem of Predatory Residential Property Companies

    Predators in the wild patiently wait for the vulnerable in a herd, and the same can be said for predatory residential property companies in real estate. These corporations take advantage of desperate homeowners by offering a quick way out of their financial problems. However, their tactics can be aggressive and harmful, targeting vulnerable individuals and even flouting state laws.

    Furthermore, the increasing number of these predatory property companies is causing imbalances in the housing market. In Allegheny County, for instance, the percentage of corporate-owned homes rose from 9.7% in 2010 to 18% in 2021. In Pittsburgh alone, the increase was from 15.5% to 24.8% during the same period. This trend is driving up housing prices and exacerbating issues such as high rental costs and homelessness.

    Efforts are being made at the federal and local levels to address this problem. The Stop Predatory Investing Act, introduced by U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown with support from Senator John Fetterman, aims to curb the predatory practices of these companies. Pittsburgh City Council is also considering legislation that would require these companies to obtain an annual license, provide proof of insurance, and undergo a background check.

    While steps have been taken by the state to address predatory lending and rent-to-own schemes, more attention needs to be paid to the issue of predatory residential property companies. Pennsylvania already requires registration for professions such as real estate sales and upholstery, demonstrating the state’s ability to regulate. By taking action against these predatory practices, more families can have the opportunity to own their own homes.

    Overall, it is crucial for stakeholders at all levels to come together to combat the problem of predatory residential property companies. By doing so, we can protect vulnerable homeowners and ensure a fair and balanced housing market for all.

    – Tribune-Review story
    – ProPublica reporting

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