American Homes 4 Rent, a large single-family home institutional landlord, has named Diana M. Laing as its chief financial officer.

Lang, 59, replaces Peter J. Nelson, who had been with the Agoura Hills real estate investment trust since 2012 and announced two months ago he was resigning to “pursue other interests.” She comes aboard as American Homes has grappled with poor earnings and rising home acquisition costs.

Laing will assume her position May 18 with an annual base salary of $250,000. She previously served as chief financial officer of Thomas Properties Group Inc., a Los Angeles publicly-traded real estate developer. She was with the company from May 2004 until it merged with Parkway Properties of Orlando in December 2013.

She previously worked other finance positions in the real estate industry, including as executive vice president, chief financial officer and corporate secretary of L.A. real estate investment trust Arden Realty. She also is a member of the Board of Directors of Macerich Co., the Santa Monica mall owner and developer, where she was chairwoman of the Audit Committee and a member of the Compensation Committee.

"Ms. Laing is a seasoned real estate financial executive with a strong track record of success and deep capital markets experience,” said American Homes Chief Executive David P. Singelyn in a statement.

American Homes is the second-largest owner of single-family homes in the country, with 23,268 properties as of Dec. 31, but it has yet to turn a profit since going public last year.

In its fourth quarter earnings released last month, the company reported funds from operations of $25.6 million (11 cents a share) for the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared to $20.7 (10 cents) in the third quarter, when the company went public. It lost $9.5 million (-8 cents) on a net income basis. Nelson announced his resignation less than a month before earnings.

In addition, there were reports the company laid of 15 percent of its employees last August after reporting its first earnings, which showed a loss of $14 million. The company has not publicly commented on the reports.

Shares closed up 6 cents, or a fraction of a percent, to $16.07 on the New York Stock Exchange.