Landlord cartel used software program to inflate lease expenses, a brand new lawsuit claims

Landlord cartel used software program to inflate lease expenses, a brand new lawsuit claims - RealPage lawsuit - RealPage la

Last updated 8 month ago

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Landlord cartel used software program to inflate lease expenses, a brand new lawsuit claims



Greedy software program: The housing marketplace disaster is in full swing, and a few landlords are keen to take advantage of the scenario to make even extra cash. The Attorney General for the District of Columbia is now suing 14 of those landlords, declaring that they are running with a software program agency to violate truthful market policies.

Attorney General Brian L. Schwalb these days introduced a new lawsuit towards RealPage, a software program agency operating inside the actual estate business, and 14 of DC's largest landlords. The belongings owners and the software maker colluded to illegally raise rents for tens of thousands of DC residents, the lawsuit says, exploiting a "centralized pricing set of rules" to inflate prices and fee renters millions of greenbacks above nearby market conditions.

The 14 landlords indexed inside the lawsuit and RealPage worked as a proper, district-extensive criminal cartel, Schwalb says, walking an anticompetitive pricing scheme. District of Columbia's attorney fashionable determined to behave at a time whilst low priced housing in DC is "increasingly scarce," the legit press launch states, to uphold the law and ensure District citizens and regulation-abiding corporations are blanketed.

The exploitation of RealPage's products to set rents for more than 50,000 apartments throughout DC constituted a clear violation of the District's Antitrust Act. The Texas-based totally enterprise changed into apparently operating to discourage direct bargaining with renters, advising landlords approximately their green software program device compared to leasing sellers with "an excessive amount of empathy" towards a fellow individual in need of a roof.

The lawsuit states that well over 30% of flats in multifamily homes (with five or greater units) and about 60% of units in big multifamily homes (50 units) in DC location are priced thru RealPage's software. In the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria metropolitan location, the proportion goes an awful lot higher with 90% of gadgets in large homes.

RealPage sells an incorporated lease control provider referred to as YieldStar, which has provided multiplied motive for subject in current years. RealPage and its partnering landlord companies had been the challenge of a category-motion lawsuit filed in California in 2022 for artificially inflated fees, and the US Department of Justice opened an professional investigation on RealPage in November 2022.

Asking for a touch upon the brand new lawsuit and a ProPublica investigation released in October 2022, RealPage stated that its commercial enterprise practices are fair and flawlessly felony. The organization uses aggregated marketplace facts from plenty of resources in a "legally compliant way," offering landlords a valuable provider for checking competitors' prices. According to a former "excessive-ranking supervisor" at a landlord service cited inside the DC Attorney General's lawsuit, the entire motive for landlords the use of the software program was to collude and raise prices.

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