The Illegal Housing Cartel Driving Up Your Rent

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Landlords are being sued for using illegal price-fixing to drive up rents across the country. They allegedly conspired with RealPage, a tech company, to use non-public data to artificially inflate rents. Rents have spiked by 26% since the pandemic.

Landlords have a secret weapon
Rents are soaring. Is a popular software tool to blame?

Big-time apartment owners, it turns out, also had a secret weapon: a Texas company called RealPage, which sells software to property managers to help them set rents and juice their profits. Its algorithm tells landlords exactly how much rent they should charge for units in their buildings, based on a potent mix of both public and nonpublic data that property owners supply to the company.

RealPage openly brags about its ability to help clients “outpace the market in good times and bad.” In a new lawsuit against the company, Kris Mayes, Arizona’s attorney general, offered a translation: “‘Outpace’ is code for charging higher prices than what would be charged in a market untainted by collusion,” the complaint reads. “This is price fixing, and it is illegal.”

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h/t Guest

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