March 7, 2024 — Featured News

Appearing in MarketWatch on March 7, 2024, Aarthi Swaminathan interviews NCLC staff attorney Ariel Nelson for coverage of President Biden’s remarks on housing affordability during the State of the Union.

Junk fees in rental housing span the gamut, from application fees to pet fees to move-in or move-out fees. A recent estimate by the Council of Economic Advisers estimated that renters paid $276 million in apartment application fees in 2023.

“And that’s just one category of fees. So I think they are just starting to grasp how big these rental housing fees are.” 

Ariel Nelson, staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center

Junk fees can also become part of a renter’s debt, Nelson added, which could result in tenants being pursued by debt collectors. That also would affect their credit score, and in turn, their ability to rent another home, or buy one. 

“These junk fees … can become a barrier to people getting future housing,” Nelson said.

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