It looked like a victory for transparency in the rental market, but it was over basically before it started. Rentlogic, which provides renters with detailed information about their landlords and assigns them a letter grade, announced a partnership with Citi Habitats this month. The partnership lasted just eight days thanks to blowback from landlords.
As the Real Deal previously reported, the partnership with Citi Habitats, which has around 18,500 listings in its database, meant that Rentlogic could signficantly expand its influence.
“I genuinely believe that transparency and access to information is what levels playing fields,” Yale Fox, a founder of Rentlogic, told the New York Times. “We want to get these ratings into everybody’s hands.”
However, Citi Habitats quickly pulled its listings from Rentlogic on September 10, after calls from angry landlords.
“The landlords are upset and saying, ‘We don’t want you guys participating in this,’” Daniel Charles, a spokesman for Citi Habitats, told the Times.
Landlords were enraged partly because Rentlogic tracks data for seven years — as long as a renter’s credit history. But over a seven year period, a building might have been owned or managed by serveral different entities.
“The new landlord is kind of being punished for the old landlord’s mistakes,” Charles added.
“I’m an advocate for some of these owners who believe some of this information might be inaccurate,” Gary Malin, the president of Citi Habitats, added [NYT] –Christopher Cameron