Biden Targets Hidden ‘Junk Fees’ to Lower Costs for Renters

Major online rental platforms agree to show the total cost of units, not just the rent.

for rent sign in front of property
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Biden administration says it has secured commitments from several major online rental platforms to be more transparent and provide consumers with the total upfront costs of rental properties, not just the rent.

Rental platforms Zillow, and signed on to the initiative, which targets so-called “junk fees,” such as application and convenience fees and costs incurred by the lessor to conduct background checks. These costs are often inflated and can add up to more than $100 per application, according to the White House. The hidden fees can also make it difficult for prospective renters, who often apply for multiple units during their apartment search, to comparison shop.

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Kathryn Pomroy

For the past 18+ years, Kathryn has highlighted the humanity in personal finance by shaping stories that identify the opportunities and obstacles in managing a person's finances. All the same, she’ll jump on other equally important topics if needed. Kathryn graduated with a degree in Journalism and lives in Duluth, Minnesota. She joined Kiplinger in 2023 as a contributor.