Leasing Lifestyle: When Lisa Ginter and her husband, Paul, moved their family into a rental home in the MuraBella neighborhood in the spring of 2013, they thought they had found a dwelling where they could be comfortable.
The landlord, after all, was a large corporation called Invitation Homes that had been buying up homes in the wake of the recession and turning the properties into rentals.
With foreclosures swirling and times tough, Ginter thought having the backing of a company with deep pockets would provide some stability rather than renting from a single owner who might be on the verge of losing the property himself or simply not having the cash to make needed repairs for the home.
Invitation Homes, a subsidiary of the private equity firm The Blackstone Group, owns nearly 2,000 homes in the region and more than 25,000 in all of Florida. It is the largest single-family rental home company in the country.
“The assumption is, at least for us was, ‘This is their investment,’” Ginter told The Record recently. Elaborating, Ginter said she expected Invitation Homes would be willing to take care of their homes so that, when the market recovered, the properties could be sold for a profit.
Now, five years later, the Ginters are engaged in a lawsuit with their former landlord.
According to a 15-page complaint filed by Ginter’s attorney in circuit court in St. Johns County, Invitation Homes failed to repair a water leak in the home’s attic that led to extensive mold formation and humidity problems throughout the house that made her and her family sick.