Using machine learning, The Charlotte Observer and The News & Observer look into a new class of landlords in North Carolina's booming housing market that includes Wall Street hedge funds and other institutional investors.

They rent homes as absentee landlords and peddle investment instruments dependent on their profits. They put heavy demands on tenants, interacting with them through technology that can strip them of tools to hold landlords accountable. This reporting will, for the first time, report the scale of the industry in North Carolina and map out the impact on tenants, neighborhoods, cities, and how this affects first-time home buyers.