What is it about?

This paper uses a unique database of eviction filings linked to specific buildings to identify the factors that explain the wildly different eviction rates of different apartment buildings. It also looks specifically at the problem of "serial evictions" where tenants are served with multiple eviction filings within the same year. Such practices can be harmful to tenants even when the intent is not to fully evict the tenant. Serial filing can harm tenants because it tarnishes the rental history of the tenant, making it harder for her to find decent quality rental housing and effectively locking the tenant into staying in the building.

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Why is it important?

The article is important because it illustrates an important aspect of the eviction problem - serial filing - and because it shows that larger landlords are more likely to engage in serial filing. It also includes other important findings, including the fact that sales of apartment buildings are often followed by spikes in eviction rates, suggesting that those attempting to offer financial or legal assistance to tenants should keep close tabs on apartment building sales in their efforts to assist tenants.

Perspectives

This article should be of interest to housing researchers, but also to policymakers, affordable housing professionals, and others concerned about improving housing stability.

Dan Immergluck
Georgia State University

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This page is a summary of: Evictions, large owners, and serial filings: findings from Atlanta, Housing Studies, July 2019, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/02673037.2019.1639635.
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