About 6,000 properties, or 14% of rental housing in Milwaukee, are owned by out-of-state landlords, according to Marquette Law School’s Lubar Center for Public Policy Research and Civic Education. In 2015, this number was 4,600 and in 2000, it was 1,500.
In a recent article from Milwaukee Journal SentinelLongtime investigative journalist Cary Spivak explains why investors across the country are buying properties in Milwaukee.
“These companies have figured out that it’s more profitable to go to a city and buy volume, lots of single family homes or duplexes, they want to have enough properties to make it worthwhile,” he explains. -he.
But what’s the difference between renting from a local business or landlord and renting from outside of Wisconsin? For one thing, Spivak says, resolving issues with property can become increasingly difficult.
“If you’re renting from an out-of-state landlord, say in Florida or California, and you have a minor issue in your home, it might be harder to deal with them than the traditional landlord being the guy around. down the block, or even if it’s a local business, at least there’s someone there that you can find and talk to,” he says.
Although some of these companies hire local managers or set up a local office, there is still often a great distance between the property owner and the principle.
Spivak found a real estate company named Milwaukee Capital, despite being located in Houston and the owner living in California, which has banned its Milwaukee executives from releasing information about the owner.
These investors not only cause problems for renters, but can also make it harder for people looking to buy their own homes by paying for homes in cash and outbidding other potential buyers, Spivak says.
“Companies that come to buy have the money [in cash]so you can get evicted on that side but not only, if you bid a little bit it might put a house out of reach for you because they kinda raise the value of the properties a little bit or a lot depending on the where it is,” he said.
This causes neighborhood groups to fear that people will be evicted, as fewer homeowners are able to put down roots in a community.
Some politicians are also worried, with Milwaukee Common Council Speaker Cavalier Johnson calling these companies “disconnected absentee owners.” But Spivak says the road to legislative change is difficult.
“Since 2010, there have been more than 100 changes to the state landlord principles law, almost all in favor of landlords,” he says.
According to Spivak, nearly a quarter of state lawmakers are landlords themselves, including Assembly Speaker Robin Vos. The state has even relaxed restrictions on how close a building contact person is to the property itself.
“The history of our state legislature over the last few years hasn’t been overt changes and a lot of benefits to principles, they’ve been more sympathetic to landlords,” he says.