Software package business Yardi Methods Inc. and 18 home management companies were being named in an antitrust class-motion lawsuit Friday that accuses the corporations of a nationwide condominium price-fixing operation.
The complaint, submitted by renter Mckenna Duffy in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, suggests landlords jointly coordinated rent raises by means of the use of Yardi’s automated pricing software package referred to as the RENTmaximizer. It follows related claims towards Richardson-dependent software program corporation RealPage.
By way of the RENTmaximizer, the rental businesses outsourced their pricing selections to Yardi and artificially removed any competitors involving them, the match alleged.
As an alternative of courting renters centered on marketplace situations, attorneys say property management organizations employed Yardi’s algorithmic instrument to automate the pricing procedure and employ higher price ranges collectively across a group of landlords.
“Our antitrust legal team has uncovered what we imagine to be a obvious gaming of the procedure as a result of managed, lockstep algorithmic improves to take care of the cost of lease — one particular that has influenced thousands and thousands of renters,” claimed Steve Berman, handling associate and co-founder of Hagens Berman, in a assertion. “Housing is a fundamental human need. What these providers have carried out is both of those lawfully and morally bankrupt.”
Dallas-primarily based condominium manager, operator and developer Tonti Homes is one of the 18 landlords named in the accommodate. The organization employs the RENTmaximizer program, in accordance to the complaint.
Yardi representatives did not quickly respond to a request for comment.
ProPublica posted an investigation final Oct on landlords’ use of RealPage’s proprietary YieldStar algorithm to press the greatest doable rent price ranges on tenants for residences throughout the U.S.
Hagens Berman submitted a comparable complaint from RealPage, a person of several against the enterprise nationwide. Additional than 20 lawsuits towards RealPage were being consolidated in Nashville federal court docket in April, Reuters documented.