After a ProPublica investigation, RealPage answered questions from lawmakers about its product. In response, the senators sent a letter to the Justice Department.

by Heather Vogell, ProPublica

After a ProPublica investigation last year, a group of senators demanded answers from a real estate tech company that helps landlords set rents across the country.

The investigation revealed how some of the nation’s biggest landlords share proprietary information with RealPage, a Texas company whose software uses the data to recommend rent prices for available units. Legal experts say the arrangement may facilitate cartel-like behavior among landlords, who could use the software to coordinate pricing.

Activists and homeless gather near tents housing the homeless at an encampment in Echo Lake Park as the city makes plans to evict all the parks encampments in Los Angeles, March 24, 2021.

Now, RealPage has responded to questions from Democratic Sens. Elizabeth WarrenBernie SandersTina Smith and Ed Markey. The company’s answers, the lawmakers said, revealed “alarming” new details.

In a letter to the Department of Justice, the senators said RealPage did not provide all the information they had asked for last November, but the answers the company did give raise concerns that its YieldStar software may play a role in driving rent inflation in some of the country’s biggest markets.

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