DENVER (KDVR) — Tens of thousands of Coloradans live in apartment complexes whose management companies are accused of algorithmic price-fixing that inflated rental prices across the nation.

A group of apartment renters brought a class-action lawsuit against some of the nation’s largest landlords on Oct. 19, including:

  • Greystar Real Estate Partners
  • Lincoln Property Co.
  • FPI Management
  • Mid-America Apartment Communities
  • Avenue5 Residential, LLC
  • Equity Residential
  • Essex Property Trust
  • Thrive Communities Management
  • Security Properties

Companies accused of inflating rent prices

The lawsuit includes real estate analytics software firm RealPage as a defendant. A ProPublica investigation preceding the lawsuit found high concentrations of RealPage-using landlords in cities where rents have risen dramatically in the past few years.

It alleges that each of the management companies illegally shared RealPage’s algorithm-born pricing with each other in order to inflate rental prices, rather than competing with each other on rent prices to attract renters.

Property managers vigorously disputed the charges in comments to ProPublica.

Apartment landlords in Colorado named in lawsuit

Six of the landlords named in the lawsuit have properties in Colorado: Greystar Real Estate Partners, Lincoln Property Co., FPI Management, Mid-America Apartment Communities, Avenue5 Residential and Equity Residential.

The landlords managed at least 200 upscale apartment complexes in the Denver metro from Castle Rock to Boulder, with the majority in Adams, Arapahoe, Denver and Jefferson counties. Most have dozens or hundreds of units.

About half are owned by Greystar. Equity Residential operates 32 and Avenue5 Residential 24.

Prices range widely across properties by location and apartment size. The average low end of the price is $1,609. The average highest price is $5,327.

The lawsuit hits home in an era where broader consumer inflation is colliding with unprecedented spikes in both home sales prices and rental prices, particularly in Colorado.