Cities for Rent: Investigating Corporate Landlords Across Europe

Everyone needs a home, and even more during a pandemic.

High demand for rental flats across European cities has contributed to make housing a very attractive investment. At at time when many people can’t find an affordable and decent flat to live, reports of a huge increase in investment flows into housing across Europe go hand in hand with stories of abusive practices by ‘corporate landlords’, companies that buy and rent out housing for profit.

Where is all that money coming from? Who are the companies and investors buying so much housing across Europe? How does this phenomenon affect people’s lives and homes in European cities?

During more than seven months, a team of over 25 investigative and data journalists and visualisations experts from 16 European countries, have been working on the cross-border collaborative project Cities for Rent: Investigating Corporate Landlords Across Europe, coordinated by Arena for Journalism in Europe.

We wanted to find the data and visualise these developments, and document their effects on our cities and in people’s lives. We found that since the financial crisis international investment funds and housing corporations have been buying up homes across European cities. And there are different critical issues connected to this.

Read more about the investigation and find the stories published by the media partners.

Media partners for Cities for Rent: Investigating Corporate Landlords Across Europe:
– Austria, Vienna: ORF
– Belgium, Brussels: Apache
– Czech Republic, Prague: Deník Referendum
– Denmark, Copenhagen: Information
– France, Paris: WeReport (investigation and reporting) and Mediapart ( publishing partner)
– Germany, Berlin: Tagesspiegel
– Greece, Athens: AthensLive (English) and Reporters United (Greek)
– Ireland, Dublin: Dublin Inquirer
– Italy, Milan: IrpiMedia
– Netherlands, Amsterdam: Follow the Money
– Norway, Oslo: E24
– Portugal, Lisbon: Expresso
– Slovakia, Bratislava: Aktuality
– Spain, Madrid:
– Switzerland, Zurich, Reflekt (investigation and reporting) and Republik (publishing partner)

The investigation was supported by a grant from Investigative Journalism for Europe.