Renters confront NC Rental Homes Council in hopes of lowering Charlotte rent

CHARLOTTE — A group of renters made a set of demands to corporate landlords on Wednesday, which included a 3% cap on rent hikes.

The renters call their group Renters Rising.

They’re upset with corporate landlords who have been buying a lot of single-family homes throughout the Charlotte area over the last few years, so they can rent them out. The tenants said they are slow to fix things but quick to charge higher rent and even evict.

They went to the Northlake area, to the offices of one of the bigger names in the business, Invitation Homes, Wednesday afternoon.

But they were really speaking to the “corporate landlord” industry as a whole. They held signs saying “corporate greed” and “get out of our communities.”

They’re asking for at least four things on behalf of Charlotte renters:

  • A 3% cap on rent increases
  • A better process for voicing grievances
  • Better maintenance
  • To be recognized as a union

“We are going to continue organizing. We are going to continue fighting. We are going to continue growing until these corporate sharks hear our voice, united, and give us our homes,” protestor Jessica Moreno said.

The National Rental Home Council speaks for the industry. It emailed Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke:

“The National Rental Home Council has met with Renters Rising twice in 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.”

You may remember:

  • The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute did a study, saying that, as of the summer of 2021, corporations owned more than 11,000 homes in Mecklenburg County alone.
  • Mecklenburg County leaders set aside $500,000 to study the impact corporate landlords are having on the community.
  • Some researchers believe the companies snatch up a lot of starter homes, making it more difficult for first-time homebuyers than it already is.
  • Some neighborhoods worry all the rentals will mean more crime, more eyesores, and lower property values. So some are fighting to keep corporate landlords out, even changing their bylaws to do so.
  • A U.S. Senator is pushing a bill, End Hedge Fund Control of American Homes Act, which would limit how many single-family houses companies could own. The penalty is $20,000 for each home over 100.

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