I disagree with your every assertion.
I actually think this is a good thing overall, for a couple of reasons.
Let's start with the fact that this approach allows REITs sitting on top of tens or hundreds of millions of dollars to pay cash prices against the FHA-first-home-buyer-mortgage-insurance-burning-40%-of-their-income-on-rent humans they're competing with and the rest of it is fuckin' moot. Go venture forth into the housing market with all your arrayed financing and rub up against "overseas cash offer" and tell me how good you think things are; I watched in LA as foreign real estate trusts snapped up every.single.available.property within three miles of the coast with cash offers over bid.
If the dishwasher isn't working, that lowers the value of the apartment, and makes the entire building marginally less valuable (due to bad word of mouth), the longer it is left unrepaired.
If the dishwasher isn't working you as a tenant can deduct the price of repair from your rent if you have put your complaint in writing. If the dishwasher isn't working you as the landlord are better off waiting to fix it until you're putting new tenants in. If the dishwasher isn't working you as the landlord can make a human decision based on how you feel about these tenants. If the dishwasher isn't working you as the administrator of a REIT have a fiduciary duty to maximize the return of your investors which is going to be "minimal investment in depreciating assets."
If the price of apartments is algorithmically defined, then it isn't going to be susceptible to price gouging.
If I own a noteworthy percentage of all the available rental properties with ready access to the park'n'ride and the good school, I can suddenly decide that rent just went up $500 in that neighborhood. Sure - a couple punters can undercut me at $400 but they've only got one house. I've got seven. My revenue went up $3500 a month, my neighbors thank me for increasing the rent, and every tenant that wants to live in that school district has to find a way to make an extra six grand a year.
If all the 2-bedroom 1-bath 500 sq ft apartments in an specific area are all $1500/month, then it becomes simply availability and personal preference.
Say there are fifteen houses in a specific area. I own five of them. I decide $2000 a month is the going rate. I raised the rent 25% but the overall rent increase is only 10%. And maybe those other ten landlords say "the rent is too damn high!" and stick to their guns and keep their rent at $1500. And then you woke up. What they actually do is look on craigslist, see what rents are at, then start their own ads two weeks early at $2200 and let the market come to them. And just last month the rent was only $1500.
The rapacious landlord is removed from the process, and his properties sit unfilled, because people want STABILITY in their home. They don't want notices saying rent is going up $500 next month... or MOVE.
LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLerskates because the tenant has no fucking power here. If you sign a lease, and it includes a provision for month-to-month, I am probably forbidden by some municipal statute from jacking your rent through the goddamn roof (this is what rent control is about). I probably have a 6% cost-of-living or whatever. But if housing is going up, it's in my best interest to jack you through the roof and kick you the fuck out because if you're a new tenant I can charge whatever the market will bear. And lookitthat. Because I can buy every available dwelling with cash and convert it to a rental, the market will bear whatever I want it to bear. See above.
I've had so many friends screwed by idiotic, short-sighted, petty landlords.
Yet you somehow think a REIT will do a better job. As to landlords v. tenants, don't get me started. I'll say this: I've never seen a corporation show more empathy than a human.
t's a way better business decision to have a single tenant for 10 years, with a 10% increase every 2 years, than wildly fluctuating prices, or pricing at the top end, and having constant renter turnover.
This is simply not the case. It's a way better business decision to amortize the shit out of every item in the house and keep the rent as high as humanly possible. Sure - you've got a house and you want a little passive income from it and the best way to do that is to get in nice people who aren't any fuss who sit there placidly paying you every month for a place to take a shit with their clothes off or whatever but you aren't a business. You're a lazy sonofabitch with a spare house. There's a reason all the biggest apartment complexes have consistently negative reviews on every social media site you've ever seen: it's good business to be ruthless with tenants.