Citi Habitats this week became the first brokerage to partner with Rentlogic, a website that grades landlords on how they manage their properties.
Launched earlier this year, Rentlogic is a database that gathers public information on complaints about issues like mold, water leaks or construction noise for New York City multifamily properties and then uses an algorithm to give the building’s landlord a letter grade.
The idea behind the product is to make it easier for renters to identify bad landlords. The platform also doubles as a listings website, showing available apartments in graded buildings, and this is where Citi Habitats comes into play.
Under the partnership, the brokerage will send all its listings to Rentlogic, which then publishes those for buildings graded an A or B. The website will weed out those graded C or lower. Yale Fox, the website’s founder, said he hopes to reach similar agreements with more brokerages. Rentlogic doesn’t charge brokers or landlords, and instead hopes to ultimately sell its product to the city.
“I think the money we could get from (brokerages) is very small compared to the money we could get from the city,” Fox said.
Gary Malin, Citi Habitats’ president, said he chose to partner with Rentlogic to offer more transparency and better services to customers. He dismissed the notion that the partnership could make Citi Habitats unpopular with those landlords who got a bad grade.
“I’ve never been in the position where I thought providing detailed information about the market is a bad idea,” Malin said.