‘No accountability from the landlord’: Corporate housing tenants protest living conditions and high rent

They are protesting what they call poor living conditions, pointing the finger at a corporate landlord that owns the property they call home.
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 9:38 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Tenants are making it clear they’re not happy. “No accountability from the landlords...that ain’t right!” chanted demonstrators.

They are protesting what they call poor living conditions, pointing the finger at a corporate landlord that owns property they call home.

Invitation Homes has properties in Charlotte and throughout the country, so protestors were at their Charlotte Office from far and wide.

“The tenants, united, will never be divided,” chanted hundreds of tenants and housing advocates outside the Charlotte office for Invitation Homes.

Jake Lineberger, an Invitation Homes tenant said, “we are here today to demand justice from Invitation Homes and corporate landlords.”

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Erick Exum, the National Director for the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America or ‘NACA’ said, “they’re widening the wealth disparity gap in Black and Latin American communities through intentional greed and it’s absolutely unacceptable.”

Housing advocates and tenants took their concerns to the office doors of Invitation Homes, expressing bad living conditions.

“Foundational issues, plumbing issues, ac issues,” said Lineberger.

Kim Worthy of Charlotte said, “nobody needs to live like that, no matter if they’re paying $1 for rent or a million dollars for rent.”

This is as tenants tell WBTV their rent has increased hundreds of dollars over the years.

Lineberger said, “It goes up at least $200 every lease, we started at $950, we’re currently up to $1,750.”

Housing advocates want an end to corporate housing ownership in Charlotte and the country.

“That’s the only way you can stabilize neighborhoods and allow the ability of generational wealth for low-income and moderate-income people,” said Exum.

WBTV reached out to Invitation Home for a comment and the National Rental Home Council responded on their behavior.

Statement from the National Rental Home Council:

The National Rental Home Council has met with Renters Rising twice during recent months. Due to an unforeseen situation, NRHC requested to reschedule our most recent meeting time with Renters Rising, and we continue to await their response to our request to reschedule. It’s unfortunate that rather than respond to our rescheduling request, Renters Rising chose to engage in unruly and intimidating behavior today, including throwing items at an office building and aggressively knocking on exterior windows.

All of NRHC’s members care deeply about the experiences that our residents have in our homes. We firmly believe that everyone should have access to convenient, high-quality housing options that meet the needs of their family. NRHC’s members provide high-quality homes for lease in safe, desirable neighborhoods, offering access to good schools and vibrant communities.

In today’s economic environment, a 3% cap on rent increases may not be possible in all circumstances. When Renters Rising responds to our request to reschedule our next meeting, we will plan to discuss this point and hope to engage in a productive dialogue.