How Corporate Landlords are Colluding to Hike up Rents – And How Localities Can Fight Back

Nobody should struggle to find housing or have to choose between housing and basic necessities like food or medicine. But as the housing crisis intensifies, more and more renters are struggling to find a safe, dignified place to call home for the long term. One reason for that? Corporate greed.

Corporate landlords have been exploiting a loophole in price fixing laws and colluding through software called Yieldstar, which is sold to landlords by a company called RealPage. RealPage’s algorithm recommends occupancy levels and rental prices for landlords to maximize profits, meaning that landlords are essentially conspiring together to hike up rental prices and artificially constrain housing supply at the expense of working families and renters across the country. RealPage’s clients allegedly control 19.7 million multifamily rental housing units in the United States, a significant portion of the total number of multifamily units in the country. Corporate landlords and RealPage rake in higher profits than ever before while renters – everyone from working class families to elderly/disabled folks living on social security to students renting housing near their university – are left to foot the bill.

Localities need to take action now to protect their communities from this corporate greed. While there is some action being taken at the state and national level, litigation can take years to settle and collusion can be difficult to prove for enforcement of existing laws.

Source: Lisa Larson-Walker for ProPublica

There are three ways that localities should take action:

  1. Introduce a local ordinance or support state-level legislation restricting or prohibiting the use of algorithmic price fixing software in rental markets. 
  2. Encourage state attorneys general or local investigatory authorities to report on the use of algorithmic price fixing software in your state or locality, as a precursor to litigation in your jurisdiction.
  3. Support Sen. Ron Wyden’s Preventing the Algorithmic Facilitation of Rental Housing Cartels Act, introduced in Feb. 2024, which would outlaw the use of algorithmic price-setting software in the rental housing market, or pass a municipal resolution supporting the bill.

For more information, read our full memo here. And if you’re interested in taking action, reach out to us at