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HUD No. 23-147
HUD Public Affairs
(202) 708-0685
July 20, 2023

In Case You Missed It: Biden-Harris Administration and HUD Announce Actions to Limit Junk Fees in Rental Housing

WASHINGTON - On Wednesday, July 19, 2023, the Biden-Harris Administration and HUD announced a new front in the crackdown on junk fees: rental housing. From repeated rental application fees to surprise “convenience fees,” millions of families incur burdensome costs in the rental application process and throughout the duration of their lease.

The White House and HUD announced new commitments by several of the biggest rental housing search platforms – including Zillow, Apartments.com, and AffordableHousing.com – to increase transparency of housing fees, released new research that highlights and summarizes state and local innovation to address junk fees, and highlighted legislative action to take on rental junk fees in states like Colorado and Minnesota. This follows the open letter Secretary Marcia L. Fudge penned in March 2023 to the housing industry calling for action to eliminate these hidden fees, charges, or add-ons in rental housing.

See below for highlights from news clips and the response from national leaders and local stakeholders alike:

News Clips

NPR: 3 big rental sites will now show extra monthly charges beyond rent

Three major rental platforms will start showing extra monthly fees that can surprise tenants — and add up to make a place less affordable than it first seemed. These charges can include things most people assume is included in the rent, like for trash removal, paying online or sorting mail…

HUD Deputy Secretary Todman also praises the growing number of states and cities that are doing even more to bring down the cost of applying for a place to live. "For instance, in Colorado, they are going to require that prospective tenants are able to reuse their rental application for up to 30 days" with no extra charge, she says.

Landlords and property owners have fought such legislation, saying they need to be able to charge a reasonable fee, and decide what data they want in a background or credit check.

The Hill: Zillow, Apartments.com pledge to show all-in pricing for prospective renters: White House

Top housing rental companies Zillow, Apartments.com and AffordableHousing.com have committed to showing prospective renters all fees upfront on their websites, the Biden administration announced Wednesday…

The Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a white paper for members of Congress, governors, and local leaders with policy ideas to address rental housing junk fees.

In March, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge called on housing companies and state and local leaders to "promote fairness and transparency for renters."

Politico Pro: White House touts new tools from Zillow, others detailing rental fees

“Too often, renters are hit with unexpected fees on top of their rent,” Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge said in a statement. “Today’s announcement shows the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to lower costs for renters and build a fairer, more transparent rental housing marketplace.”

CBS News: White House targets junk fees in apartment rentals, promises anti-price gouging help

Renters should soon be able to expect more transparency on what they'll pay for their apartments, as some major online real-estate marketplaces agree to include hidden costs — like application and convenience fees — in their upfront advertised pricing.

Reuters: White House expands war on junk fees to rental housing, unveils new merger guidelines

WASHINGTON, July 19 (Reuters) - The White House on Wednesday expanded its war on junk fees to the rental housing market, announced a crackdown on price-fixing in food and agricultural markets, and unveiled draft merger guidelines as part of an ongoing push to aid U.S. consumers.

HousingWire: White House takes aim at rental ‘junk fees’ with data and online listings partnerships

There is also new research now available from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that “provides a blueprint for a nationwide effort to address rental housing junk fees,” while legislative action at the state level are joining the White House to codify crackdowns on “junk fees” into law.

Route Fifty: States target ‘junk fees’ that burden rental households

They disproportionately harm Black, Hispanic and Asian renters, who are more likely to be charged application fees, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development published Wednesday.

The announcement was also featured in a variety of national and regional digital, print, and broadcast publications:

Social Media Mentions

Outside of news outlets, a variety of national leaders, organizations, and stakeholders praised, welcomed, and amplified this announcement:


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