1) McKayla Ferreira noticed water leaking through the bathroom and kitchen ceilings. Then she found a furry black mold spreading across the walls and raw sewage sluicing through the crawl space. Worst, to her, were the black widow spiders swarming her kitchen cupboards and linen closets. “Those spiders were so big you could hear them,” Ferreira said. “They sounded like fingernails scraping a table.”
Ferreira called her landlord, Invitation Homes Inc. The spiders were a “housekeeping issue,” the company representative told her, and she should “clean the place up.” Invitation Homes wasn’t enthusiastic about fixing the leaks, either. Two months passed before it sent someone to cut through the ceiling and fix the pipes, Ferreira said. Then the company took seven more months to patch it all up.
2) Tenant, Contrell Wethersby in Atlanta, told Reuters she had to go for more than a year without heat or a functioning refrigerator, stove, microwave or garage door, not to mention having to endure a leaky ceiling and black mold.
Invitation Homes said it is committed to operating in accordance with all federal, state and local housing laws. It said its records showed that Wethersby’s issues did not persist for any significant length of time and that work crews had trouble scheduling with her. The company did not provide its records for Wethersby or any other tenants.
3) In California, groups of Invitation Homes tenants, organized by ACCE, have stormed the offices of Blackstone three times to demand an end to what they say are the business’s worst practices, such as forgoing repairs and hiking rents.
4) Five former employees said Invitation Homes routinely didn’t spend enough on repairs or hire enough contractors to get the job done. One former maintenance contractor said that he oversaw 2,000 homes scattered across one metropolis and that he couldn’t possibly keep up.
Relationship to Invitation Homes’ Profit Motive
This is taken right from Invitation Homes latest 10k, December 31, 2018:
We have in the past and may from time to time in the future acquire some of our homes through the auction process, including auctions of homes that have been foreclosed upon by third party lenders. Such auctions may occur simultaneously in a number of markets, including monthly auctions on the same day of the month in certain markets. As a result, we may only be able to visually inspect properties from the street and will purchase these homes without a contingency period and in “as is” condition with the risk that unknown defects in the property may exist.
We have acquired and disposed of, and may continue to acquire and dispose of, properties we acquire or sell in bulk from or to other owners of single-family homes, banks, and loan servicers. When we purchase properties in this manner, we often do not have the opportunity to conduct interior inspections or conduct more than cursory exterior inspections on a portion of the properties. Such inspection processes may fail to reveal major defects associated with such properties, which may cause the amount of time and cost required to renovate and/or maintain such properties to substantially exceed our estimates.
Under various federal, state, and local environmental laws, a current or previous owner or operator of real property may be liable for the cost of removing or remediating hazardous or toxic substances on such property. Such laws often impose liability whether or not the owner or operator knew of, or was responsible for, the presence of such hazardous or toxic substances. Even if more than one person may have been responsible for the contamination, each person covered by applicable environmental laws may be held responsible for all of the clean-up costs incurred. In addition, third parties may sue the owner or operator of a site for damages based on personal injury, natural resources, or property damage or other costs, including investigation and clean-up costs, resulting from the environmental contamination. The presence of hazardous or toxic substances on one of our properties, or the failure to properly remediate a contaminated property, could give rise to a lien in favor of the government for costs it may incur to address the contamination or otherwise adversely affect our ability to sell or lease the property or borrow using the property as collateral. Environmental laws also may impose restrictions on the manner in which property may be used or businesses may be operated. A property owner who violates environmental laws may be subject to sanctions which may be enforced by governmental agencies or, in certain circumstances, private parties. In connection with the acquisition and ownership of our properties, we may be exposed to such costs. The cost of defending against environmental claims, of compliance with environmental regulatory requirements, or of remediating any contaminated property could materially and adversely affect us.
Compliance with new or more stringent environmental laws or regulations or stricter interpretation of existing laws may require material expenditures by us. We may be subject to environmental laws or regulations relating to our properties, such as those concerning lead-based paint, mold, asbestos, proximity to power lines, or other issues. We cannot assure you that future laws, ordinances, or regulations will not impose any material environmental liability or that the current environmental condition of our properties will not be affected by the activities of residents, existing conditions of the land, operations in the vicinity of the properties, or the activities of unrelated third parties. In addition, we may be required to comply with various local, state, and federal fire, health, life-safety, and similar regulations. Failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations could result in fines and/or damages, suspension of personnel, civil liability, or other sanctions.
With all the information known on how Invitation Homes buys houses, this could be reasons why there are so many maintenance problems. Since they can’t in some instances inspect the inside of the properties this can lead to bigger problems down the road. Invitation Homes has a budget on the maintenance and the rehab of homes after they purchase them. Their incessant need to keep doing securitizations on new properties within in a timeframe could lead them to doing superficial work just to get the house in working order and not doing the real work that is demanded. With so many complaints about their maintenance of their own properties this could be feasible. Each day a property is not being rented hurts their bottom line.