Renters claim mega-landlord slow to repair, quick to evict

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Across Houston, Harvey hit many homeowners hard.

For renters like Joseph and Amber Tobias, it hit them just as hard.

"It was very heartbreaking," Amber said.

For months, ABC News and ABC Stations across America have taken a close look at what is likely America's largest landlord.

The company, Waypoint Homes, owns tens of thousands of single-family homes across America. They control huge parts of some neighborhoods here in Houston.

Across the country, customers are speaking up.

For the Tobias', Harvey wasn't the first time their home flooded. But it would be the last.

As water sat in the home, the Tobias' tell us the landlord wanted them to sign a new lease. They said no, for them, that was the last straw.

"It's been a struggle since day one, to be honest with you," Amber said.

The couple says the home flooded several times in the five years they lived there. The company has record of three floods, but the Tobias' say few inside repairs were ever made.

Floors buckled and drywall got wet in the Memorial Day flood of 2015, the couple said. Their landlord has a record of a gutter and downspout repair then, but nothing inside after the 2015 flood.

"No floors, no walls," Amber said.

"We just kind of dried it out ourselves," Joseph said.

Waypoint owns nearly 2,700 single family homes in the Houston area.

In Harris County alone the company owns $275 million worth of real estate.

The company says the size gives them advantages, especially after Harvey when the company says it was able to relocate victims.

The Tobias' tells us they tried to find another Waypoint home, but gave up when it seemed to require new application fees.

Waypoint says that shouldn't have been the case.

The Tobias' moved on.

Across the country, the company has a D+ rating with the Better Business Bureau due to a pattern of tenant complaints involving repair issues.

"Failing to fix things in a timely manner, failing to address issues with the renters in a timely manner, even just a lack of communication altogether," said BBB spokesman Matt Fehling.

Waypoint says even one unhappy customer is too many and insists the vast majority of customers are satisfied, customers like John Kiser in Spring.

"Maybe we're lucky. Our experience has been tremendous. We've not had an issue where we didn't have somebody at our home within 48 hours," Kiser said.

But there are Waypoint customers who've talked to ABC News across the country who want another message to get through.

"They're not a very compassionate company for as many houses as they have and all the money that they're making off of everybody," Amber said.

The Tobias' are now in a new home with another landlord.

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