Short seller Viceroy Research launches attack on landlord for homeless

Notorious UK short seller Viceroy Research launches attack on landlord for homeless Home Reit

A blazing row has broken out between one of the country’s most notorious short sellers and a landlord that provides housing for the homeless.

Shares in FTSE 250 listed Home Reit plummeted nearly 20 per cent after short seller Viceroy Research launched an attack on the company, making allegations about its financial stability.

Viceroy is run by British short seller Fraser Perring, who accused Wirecard of fraud years before the German payment processing company’s collapse.

Under attack: Landlord Home Reit works with many charities to provide accommodation for homeless people 

Perring also took aim at Tesla this year, shorting the stock in January, claiming that the car maker is overvalued compared with Toyota and Volkswagen. Tesla stock has since fallen by 50 per cent.

In a 27-page report called No Place Like Home REIT . . . Thankfully, Perring questions the company’s business model and its ability to collect rent from its tenants.

It alleges many of the tenants Home Reit works with – most of which are charities – to provide accommodation for the homeless ‘cannot afford rent, have not been paying rent, are in administration, are run by bad actors, or simply do not provide social housing services’.

The report concludes: ‘Home Reit’s tenants raise questions about the financial viability of Home Reit’s portfolio, and also about the appropriateness of this venture. 

We strongly believe that these are not the people who should be entrusted to look after the vulnerable, nor should they be entrusted with your taxes to do so.’

But Home Reit said the report was ‘inaccurate and misleading’, adding it was not approached before the report was issued.

A spokesman said: ‘The company will publish a full and detailed response demonstrating the factual inaccuracies and selective use of information in due course.’