Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., said Thursday a House subcommittee investigation found four large corporate landlords used abusive and perhaps unlawful eviction tactics through the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pool photo by Stefani Reynolds/UPI | License Photo
July 28 (UPI) — The U.S. House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis said Thursday it has referred four large corporate landlord companies to enforcement agencies for allegedly using “abusive tactics to eliminate tenants from their homes” through the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Occasionally, the select subcommittee discovered that their abuses could have violated regulations, and I’ve referred our relevant findings to the correct federal and state agencies for further investigation and potential enforcement action,” Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., chair of the subcommittee, said in a statement.
Pretium Partners, through its companies Progress Residential and YARD Residential, Invitation Homes, Ventron Management and The Siegel Group filed 14,744 eviction actions between March 15, 2020 and July 29, 2021, based on the subcommittee’s investigation.
“Instead of dealing with cost-burdened tenants, abiding by applicable eviction moratoriums and accepting federal rental assistance, these businesses — with properties across 28 states — expedited evictions most of all,” Clyburn said.
The eviction actions of the firms were “unconscionable throughout a once-in-a-century economic and public health crisis,” Clyburn said, and he wants the firms to be held accountable.
He said that Invitation Homes reported record profits, Pretium committed to significant expansions, Siegel experienced minimal revenue decline, and both Ventron and Siegel each received a lot more than $2 million in forgiven Paycheck Protection Program funds.
The subcommittee investigation alleges that Siegel used harassment tactics and “engaged in deceptive and potentially unlawful practices to avoid tenants from understanding their protection from eviction” beneath the CDC eviction moratorium.
The subcommittee’s investigation discovered that Ventron, Invitation Homes, Siegel, and Pretium “had policies or practices that allowed filing eviction cases even though a tenant had requested rental assistance and was looking forward to aid.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., along with other Democratic women hold a press conference sharing stories of the results of a depletion in women’s reproductive healthcare services at the Capitol on Thursday. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo