J.P Morgan Chase
By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: June 24, 2021 ~
Despite an unprecedented record of five felony counts from the U.S. Department of Justice since 2014, to which it admitted guilt, and the reputational damage this has done to its brand, JPMorgan Chase’s asset management unit made the unusual decision last year to form a joint venture with an SFR (Single-Family Rental company) whose tenant complaints are so eye-popping that they fill pages on the internet and have been the focus of television and magazine reporting.
The SFR company is American Homes 4 Rent. It is not just buying up homes from distressed homeowners as Wall Street vultures did after the 2008 financial crash. According to a press release on May 4, the joint venture with JPMorgan Asset Management was engaged in its “sixth and seventh newly built single-family rental home communities….”
The two communities announced on May 4 were Brentwood in Mooresville, North Carolina and Westbrook Lake in Cumming, Georgia. Brentwood was to become a rental community of 234 homes while Westbrook Lake would be a smaller, 95-home community.
When the joint-venture was first announced in May of 2020, the parties said they had closed a month earlier on single-family home communities consisting of 34 homes “in the Sovana and Spring Valley areas of Las Vegas.”
The plan, according to the press release in May of last year, was for the joint venture “to deploy $625 million of equity and develop approximately 2,500 purpose built single-family rental homes across multiple high-growth markets in the West and Southeast.”
American Homes 4 Rent is a publicly-traded REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) that is traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Its 10-K (Annual Report) filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission indicated that as of March 31, 2021 it owned 53,984 single-family properties in 22 states.
That same SEC filing also indicated that the Georgia Attorney General’s office was investigating the company regarding landlord-tenant matters.