- Arlington, Virginia-based REIT AvalonBay Communities has been released from a class action suit surrounding antitrust allegations, the REIT announced in a 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission released earlier this month.
- AVB was among the defendants named in late 2022 and early 2023 cases alleging antitrust violations by RealPage and several owners and operators of multifamily housing utilizing the company’s revenue management systems.
- More than 30 class action suits have been filed against RealPage and apartment owners and managers. These cases have been consolidated into one suit that moved forward in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee this month when Waverly D. Crenshaw Jr., chief U.S. District Court judge for the Middle District of Tennessee, deferred a series of motions asserting the case should be dismissed, according to Bisnow.
After a ProPublica report investigated RealPage’s pricing model in October, a group of renters — three in California and two in Washington state — of market-rate apartments sued Richardson, Texas-based property management software and data analytics provider RealPage and a number of large operators a week later, alleging that they committed antitrust violations under the Sherman Act. The five renters accused property managers of sharing “competitively sensitive information with one another” by using RealPage as a conduit.
In recent earnings calls, executives from Chicago-based Equity Residential and Palo Alto, California-based Essex Property Trust have defended their companies’ actions.
“We think the claims are without merit, and we’re going to defend ourselves,” said Equity CEO Mark Parrell. “We continue to feel really confident in our prospects there.”
In addition to Essex and EQR, managers named in the suit included:
- Greystar Real Estate Partners.
- Lincoln Property Co.
- FPI Management.
- MAA Communities.
- Avenue 5 Residential.
Although AVB wasn’t named in that suit, it was mentioned in subsequent filings, including a suit brought in February by renters Shaina Silverman and Tyler Kimbrough in United States District Court in the Western District of Washington against RealPage, Brookfield Residential Properties, Cushman & Wakefield, Equity Residential, Greystar Real Estate Partners, TF Cornerstone and Rose Associates.
AVB’s recent 10-Q filing said that it engaged with the plaintiffs' counsel to explain why it believed that the cases were without merit as they pertained to the company. “Following these discussions, the plaintiffs filed a notice of voluntary dismissal in July 2023, which resulted in us being dismissed without prejudice from these cases,” it said in the filing.
On AVB’s Q2 earnings call, CEO Benjamin Schall said he was unaware of any other litigation the company was involved with related to RealPage.
“We are pleased we’ve been dismissed from that class action lawsuit,” he said. “At this point, given its ongoing litigation in the wider industry, we can’t make any additional comments above what we included in our disclosure in the earnings release.”
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