DC tenant says her rent is being increased by 33% despite lawsuit against landlords

DC tenant says her rent is being increased by 33% despite lawsuit against landlords

Alyssa Franke, a tenant in Northeast D.C., is facing a 33% rent increase from her property management company, Bozzuto Management Company, at The Apollo on H Street. The increase comes amid a lawsuit filed by the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, Brian Schwalb, against 14 landlords, including Bozzuto Management Company, for allegedly colluding with software company RealPage to inflate rent prices in the district.

The lawsuit claims that the defendants engaged in a price-fixing scheme, using RealPage’s software to set rent prices across more than 40,000 units in D.C. The suit alleges that this practice artificially inflated rent prices by up to 7%. Despite the ongoing legal action, Franke claims that her management company continues to raise rent without justification.

Franke, who currently pays $2,242 a month, received a renewal offer that would increase her rent to $2,981 for a 12-month lease. She expressed frustration, stating that there is no justification for such a significant rent hike, and the management company has not provided any explanation.

Bozzuto Management Company has not responded to inquiries from WUSA9 regarding the use of RealPage’s software and the allegations in the lawsuit. The company had previously mentioned using a third party for generating renewal rates in an exchange with Franke in December 2022.

The D.C. Attorney General’s office emphasized its commitment to standing up for tenants and addressing the affordable housing crisis in the district. They encourage residents facing issues with their landlords or businesses to file complaints with the Office of Consumer Protection. Franke hopes that by sharing her experience, other tenants in the district will be aware that they are not alone in facing rent challenges. RealPage has not responded to inquiries about the lawsuit and recent allegations.