Transcript for ABC News investigation finds complaints against rental home giant
Next, an ABC news investigation tonight, with our stations across the country, into a giant real estate rental company, starwood waypoint. Cofounded by a billionaire friend of president trump. Tens of thousands of families live in those property, paying rent. But the company is now dogged by complaints of shoddy maintenance, and an aggressive eviction policy. ABC's chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross tonight. Reporter: In Dallas, Texas, disaster in the living room. After Carlos and Ebony January say the landlord did a shoddy job of repairing an upstairs leak. Just lucky to be alive. Reporter: In Broward county, Florida, the parents of Brielle Nicholson say, in a lawsuit, their daughter's asthma was caused by the very same landlord who failed to remove toxic mold from their rental home. Every morning and every night, she has to take a breathing treatment. Reporter: The landlord was, in effect, one of president trump's best billionaire friends, Tom Barack, who until he sold his interest, helped run what has now grown into a giant cop corporation that operated under the name starwood/waypoint, controlling tens of thousands of single fally rental homes across the country. You have the ultimate, out of state, far removed absentee landlord. Reporter: In some neighborhoods, as our station in Atlanta documented, a huge presence. The company claims it has a 99.8% satisfaction rate from its tenants. We're bringing professionalism, dedicated resources and a lot of energy and desire to service our residents at a high level. Reporter: But the better business bureau gives the company a grade of d-plus and reporters at ABC TV stations across the country heard lots of complaints. We just feel like we have been victimized and taken advantage of. Reporter: Tenants also told us the company is quick to threaten eviction, even if a tenant is only a few days late with the rent. When it happens, they can end up in court and have to pay additional fees and the company's lawyers to stave off eviction. Is that true, they have to pay those fees? Yes, it's true. Reporter: That's fair? That's part of the process that we have. Reporter: It's part of your business. It's part of the business. Brian Ross with us tonight. We heard the executive say that the E jix notices are just part of their business, Brian? That's right. All landlords deal with eviction issues, but a survey found the company had filed eviction notices against a full one-third of its tenants in the area. The company would not say how often they threaten eviction nationwide, David. Brian Ross, thank you. There is still much more
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