Landlords…hate them or hate them, you have to admit they’d do anything to get more money.
This time, landlords are accused of colluding with a property management software company to tinker with the pricing algorithm for real estate, to continue to drive rental prices up.
The DC attorney general has sued 14 of the largest landlord firms in DC, accusing them of working with Texas company RealPage to artificially raised rent prises.
“RealPage and the defendant landlords illegally colluded to artificially raise rents by participating in a centralized, anticompetitive scheme, causing District residents to pay millions of dollars above fair market prices,” said Attorney General Brian Schwalb, who went on to say their scheme amounted to a “housing cartel”.
How wide-spread was the scheme?
According to the announcement, well over 30% of apartments in multifamily buildings in DC, and approximately 60% of units in large multifamily buildings (with 50+ units), are priced using RealPage’s software.
In the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria Metropolitan Area, that number is even higher. There, over 90% of units in large buildings are priced using RealPage’s software.
The district attorney alleges that defendant landlords first illegally decided to all use RealPage, then coordinated to forgo competition and share sensitive company data and delegate rent-setting authority to RealPage in order to raise rents.
The result? Artificially-inflated rents with “artificial” intelligence. You’re welcome…
There are 14 named landlords in this lawsuit so, if you have the rare luxury of choice the next time you have to change homes, do try to avoid those.