Rentlogic Announces Formation of New York Benefit Corporation
Rentlogic, a tech-enabled standards organization that grades every residential building in NYC with letter grades A-F in much the same way the City grades restaurants, announced the formation of a New York Benefit Corporation to establish fair and independent operating standards for quality living within the housing market. The Multifamily Operating Standards Assessment & Improvement council (MOSAIC), is comprised of independent building owners/operators, industry trade networks, tenant organizations, advocacy groups, banks, insurance companies, city agencies, elected officials, and more.
Rentlogic grades all properties on building maintenance quality and livability using an algorithm based on public data and in-person inspections. The introduction of MOSAIC brings about a concentrated effort to maintain corporate accountability in the apartment rental market that will benefit all facets of the industry and celebrate its best actors.
MOSAIC, which is 19 people strong, includes Adam Forman, the Chief Policy and Data Officer from the Office of the New York City Comptroller, real estate developer R. Donahue Peebles, Founder, Chairman and CEO of The Peebles Corporations, and Dan Garodnick, former City Council member and current President and CEO, Riverside Park Conservancy.
“Because there are so many different voices in the housing sector, we realized the need for official standards to be set for the safety and viability of New York apartments. In order to be completely unbiased, we knew we had to work with representatives from across the housing sector—landlords, tenants, real estate brokerages, government officials, banks and insurance companies—to create that fairest, most transparent and objective benchmarks possible,” said Yale Fox, founder and CEO, Rentlogic. “In that same quest for accountability, as CEO of Rentlogic, I do not have a vote on the Board; I am simply there to act as Chair and guide discussions.”
Fox explains why this is noteworthy and unique: “Housing quality is a matter of public health, we initially set the standards based on the City’s already existing Housing and Maintenance Code. Since this code can be nuanced, and sometimes outdated, we have applied a data-driven process to review it. What we’re doing here is a big jump in how algorithmically-driven platforms operate in marketplaces, and we hope this will influence other similar startups to act in the same way.”
“In the ever-complicated dynamic of landlords and tenants, Rentlogic highlights common standards that everyone can understand. Bad owners will feel pressure to fix their buildings, while good owners can wear their compliance as a badge of honor. And it is unquestionably helpful for tenants—and prospective tenants—as they decide where they want to live,” explains Garodnick. “I’m eager to participate on MOSAIC and look forward to the first meeting.”
The Council will convene annually—the first meeting is scheduled for the first quarter of 2019—to discuss and approve any changes to standards measured by Rentlogic’s grading algorithm, review Rentlogic’s use and characterization of the grading system, and to suggest improvements.