Consider this scenario: You’re a worker, who lives paycheck to paycheck. Then, your child gets sick and you miss three days at your job. And that means rent will be three days late.
According to a new study from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, what happens next may depend on who your landlord is.
The study looks at eviction notice rates among different kinds of rental property owners in Fulton County: mom and pop landlords, companies that hold 15 properties or more and institutional investor landlords.
It finds corporate landlords are 8 percent more likely than mom and pop landlords to give tenants eviction notices. Meanwhile, certain investor companies are almost 20 percent more likely than small scale landlords.
One firm, the study reports, sent eviction notices to a third of its tenants.
Elora Raymond, a PhD student at Georgia Tech and one of the study’s authors, said, it shows one way investment companies, who picked up housing following the recession, may be affecting neighborhoods.
“As private equity firms become bigger players in becoming landlords,” Raymond said. “We should keep an eye on it and think about what the ramifications are."
The National Rental Home Council, which represents some of these investor landlords, pointed out that not all notices result in eviction. The group’s executive director, Diane Tomb, said their data shows three-quarters of cases get resolved.
Tomb asked people instead to consider a different kind of impact investor landlords have had in communities—the $500 million they’ve spent rehabbing homes around Atlanta.
"I think it’s important to see the benefit that these investors are bringing to these communities particularly in the time like 2010 when many of these communities were hit the hardest,” Tomb said.
The Atlanta Fed study found that overall Fulton County is struggling with “extremely” high rates of eviction notices, with predominantly black neighborhoods feeling most of the effects. In certain zip codes, 40 percent of renters received notices.