With Dayton-based VineBrook Homes facing a lawsuit from the city of Cincinnati and criticism from U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, the the Dayton Daily News investigated what experiences local officials and renters have had with VineBrook.
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Here are five key findings from our investigation:
1. Huber Heights officials estimate VineBrook owns roughly 15% of homes in the city. This includes single family homes, as well as apartment and townhome units.
2. From January 2022 to present, the city of Huber Heights has received more than 350 code violation complaints involving VineBrook. City officials say most violations are quickly brought into compliance and the company doesn’t have a backlog of fines or fees.
3. An online Dayton Daily News survey found common complaints among those who had a negative experience with VineBrook cited maintenance issues.
4. An attorney who represents low-income tenants with Advocates for Basic Legal Equality says VineBrook assesses unusually high fees on residents, and is aggressive in evicting tenants even if they are in the process of getting rental assistance.
5. According to dockets filed in the Montgomery County Municipal Court’s Eastern Division, VineBrook filed 234 evictions in this court alone in the previous two years, which averages out to about two per week. The court covers Huber Heights and Riverside.
A VineBrook spokesman responded to questions from the Dayton Daily News via email.
“VineBrook Homes is a company with deep Ohio roots that has worked to breathe new life into local properties and provide safe and affordable homes to residents across the community, helping set them on a path toward homeownership,” the statement says. “Our corporate headquarters is in Dayton and our team prioritizes customer service. We are committed to providing a transparent rental process for our residents, with responsibilities and fees dictated by the terms of the executed lease agreement.”
The spokesman says emergency work orders submitted by residents are typically addressed within 24 hours and other urgent maintenance requests are handled within three to five days on average.
“Resident communication is a very important component of our business, and we are constantly seeking ways to enhance our customer service offering, incorporating new technologies and touchpoints to deliver a high-quality experience. We monitor resident requests and response times in real time and ensure our team is actively working to resolve issues for our residents.”
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