Landlord giant raided by FBI for algorithmic price fixing

The FBI launched a surprise raid on landlord giant Cortland Management in Atlanta late May of this year.

Cortland Management, owner of 85,000 units in thirteen states, follows the recommendations of software and consulting firm RealPage, which suggests rental prices to clients. Typically, they accept.

This coordinated effort among landlords to follow the software's suggestions drives up rental prices by reducing the availability of units. As one of RealPage's architects reportedly stated, the goal is to prevent landlords from undervaluing their properties, thereby ensuring higher rents nationwide.

RealPage is in turn owned by Thoma Bravo, one of the largest private equity firms in the US. This conspiracy is Wall Street all the way down. This coordinated effort has made rents skyrocket, with Atlanta in focus for this investigation. Renters in the Georgian city have seen rents increase 80% since 2016, all at the behest of algorithmic suggestions to increase the worth of investor's capital. Nevermind the tenants that have to contend with their ever-increasing cost of living and stagnant wages.

The impact of such practices is starkly evident in Atlanta, where 81% of multifamily rental unit prices are set using software[…]  This price surge has occurred despite increasing vacancy rates, which would typically lead to lower rents. The adoption of RealPage's pricing recommendations by numerous landlords between 2015 and 2017, followed by RealPage's acquisition of its main rival Lease Rent Option in 2017, has given it unparalleled control over rental pricing.

Uprise Rhode Island

Even the FBI agrees, "The Rent is Too Damn High"!