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Seattle Renters Sue Leasing Companies For Price-Fixing

 |  November 15, 2022

The lawsuit alleges that the leasing companies worked together to increase rent prices for Seattle residents using a third-party data collection service.

The lawsuit alleges that those who currently rent or have rented an apartment maintained by one of the 10 companies since 2010 may have paid artificially inflated rent prices.

The lawsuit states that defendants Greystar, Trammell Crow Company, Lincoln Property Co., FPI Management, Avenue5, Equity, Essex Property Trust, Thrive, Avalonbay Communities and Security Properties Inc colluded and shared data through RealPage, effectively inflating the prices of multifamily residential real estate in and around downtown Seattle above competitive levels.

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The lawsuit alleges that, “leasing giants began to work together to increase lease prices for Seattle renters. Instead of using an independent pricing metric and supply decisions, they agreed to use a third-party pricing and data collection service, RealPage, to make unit-specific lease adjustments.”

RealPage owns software that uses an algorithm and analyzes data to suggest rent prices.

The price-fixing affected the central neighborhoods of Seattle, including Capitol Hill, the Central District, South Lake Union and Queen Anne, which include most of the city’s densest neighborhoods, according to the lawsuit.