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(8,361 posts)
Tue Jul 25, 2023, 01:21 PM Jul 2023

The Junk Fee Fight Spreads to Rental Housing

Transparency in rental costs and action at the state level are bringing new vigor to attacking landlord rip-offs.


While I was on vacation last week, the second anniversary of the White House executive order on promoting competition in the U.S. economy was marked by the release of several important measures. By far the biggest was the long-awaited rollout of draft merger guidelines, intended to instruct the judiciary on when federal antitrust authorities will challenge proposed mergers. As Matt Stoller explains, this is a reversal of a 40-year elite hijacking of the plain meaning of antitrust law, which has led to damaging concentration of markets. While by themselves, the merger guidelines do not require judges to change their views, they do shape legal opinion. It’s unbelievable that simply writing down what the law says can be even a little controversial, but it’s actually revolutionary.

There were some additional announcements aimed at antitrust enforcement in agriculture. But the measure that most interested me was an expansion of the administration’s junk fee abolition agenda, finally bringing it outside of the more elite considerations of travel and entertainment tickets. Nobody should be ripped off, but I had highlighted in February the areas where corporations have locked in on populations beyond hotel and air travel consumers, starting with the growing incidence of junk fees in rental housing.

Renters must pay application fees to even be considered for housing, which usually far exceed the cost of running a credit and background check. If they succeed in securing an apartment, they face “convenience fees” for paying their rent online or by check, fees for renting month to month, fees for guests, fees for inspections and maintenance, fees for amenities like mail sorting and pest control and utilities and cable and insurance, “valet trash” fees for having someone take the trash from a renter’s front door to a nearby chute, and even “fees that are charged each January because it’s January,” as one advocate told me.

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The Junk Fee Fight Spreads to Rental Housing (Original Post) BeckyDem Jul 2023 OP
Glad to see this jmbar2 Jul 2023 #1
1 more reason why I like Biden vlyons Jul 2023 #2


(5,457 posts)
1. Glad to see this
Tue Jul 25, 2023, 01:34 PM
Jul 2023

I often see Craigslist ads for subsidized housing projects in my area advertising openings, which don't exist. They are collecting app fees from each interested party just to get on a two-year waiting list.

It's a racket.

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