FBI, Raid, Cortland Firm

Cortland Firm Raided By FBI For Rent Price-Fixing Scheme

The Cortland raid is part of the DOJ's investigation into suspected anticompetitive practices within the multifamily residential sector.

The U.S. Department of Justice’s federal investigators are probing an alleged price-fixing scheme aimed at driving up rent. The scheme has been traced back to an Atlanta-based development firm, Cortland.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation raided Cortland’s Atlanta headquarters due to a scheme court documents revealed that “involved the use of algorithms by competitors in allegedly fixing prices.” The court stated that under the Sherman Act, “it is per se unlawful for competitors to join together their independent decision-making power to raise, depress, fix, peg, or stabilize prices; and the Supreme Court has made clear that ‘the machinery employed by a combination for price-fixing is immaterial.”

Cortland, which owns over 80,000 homes and apartments nationwide, confirmed in a statement obtained by 11Alive that federal agents carried out a limited search operation. Armed with a court-sanctioned warrant, it is part of an ongoing probe spearheaded by the United States Department of Justice into suspected anticompetitive practices within the multifamily residential sector. The company stated that it was wholly cooperating with investigators, claiming, “neither Cortland nor any of our employees are ‘targets’ of that investigation.”

Northwest Atlanta tenant Torrin Strong told the outlet that his two-bedroom apartment rents for nearly $1,700 monthly, and he’s currently paying around $500 more than he was a few years ago.

As per Cortland’s corporate profile on LinkedIn, the company “operates as a product-to-people company, encompassing multifamily real estate investments, development, and management under one roof.” Cortland’s distinctive approach internalizes the vast majority of functions pertaining to multifamily development, design, construction, renovation, asset management, and ownership.

With a team of nearly 2,500 people worldwide, Cortland is headquartered in Atlanta and London. The company’s website reveals that it also has regional offices in Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Greenwich, Houston, Orlando, and Phoenix. In the U.K., it operates a build-to-rent (BTR) management and development platform.

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