Renters seeking apartments can now breathe a sigh of relief as major rental-housing platforms collaborate with President Joe Biden to eradicate those pesky “junk fees.” In an effort to increase transparency, three prominent rental-housing platforms, namely Zillow, Apartments.com, and AffordableHousing.com, have introduced new features to their websites that disclose the actual cost of renting.
Zillow has taken the lead by launching their “Cost of Renting Summary” for apartment listings. This summary provides renters with a comprehensive breakdown of all expenses associated with renting, encompassing security deposits, monthly fees, and one-time charges.
Apartments.com will follow suit later this year by introducing a calculator. This tool will empower renters to determine the total cost of renting a specific unit, inclusive of recurring monthly fees.
AffordableHousing.com has taken a different approach by mandating that owners provide full transparency regarding all costs associated with apartment listings. They are introducing a new “Trusted Owner” badge, which allows renters to identify landlords who adhere to best practices, offer reasonable fees, and practice full disclosure without any hidden charges.
President Biden has been vocal in his campaign against junk fees and is actively working towards reducing costs for renters. These new initiatives from rental-housing platforms coincide with his efforts.
Previously, apartment seekers often faced unexpected expenses due to undisclosed fees on rental websites. Application fees, “convenience fees” for online rent payments, charges for trash collection, and unexplained “January fees” imposed by some landlords at the beginning of the year were not included in the listed prices. The White House emphasized how these hidden fees made it challenging for renters to compare different listings and ascertain the true cost of renting an apartment.
Thanks to these commendable efforts by rental-housing platforms in collaboration with President Biden, renters can now anticipate a more transparent and fair renting experience.