Federal Bill Targets Rental Fees

The legislation aims to prohibit collection of application, screening and late fees.

By Joe Riter and Jason Lynn |

2 minute read

Congressman Maxwell Frost (D-Fla.-10) has introduced the End Junk Fees for Renters Act, aimed to prohibit the collection of application fees, resident screening fees and late fees. The bill even goes a step further to require that any late fee collected shall be applied to the amount of rent due for the following month as a credit. Congressman Frost was joined by Congressman Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.-34) and 11 Democratic Members of Congress as co-sponsors on this bill. 

Congressman Frost’s legislation also limits housing providers’ ability to evaluate conventional resident screening criteria such as credit scores or any consumer report, and the bill includes required disclosures, which can have significant operational effects, including:

  • The total amount due each month, including any fees;
  • To the degree practicable, a summary of any past litigation between the owner and any former or current residents;
  • A description of any ongoing pest and maintenance issues and
  • The amount of any rent increase for the property in each of the 10 previous years.

The scope of the proposed legislation would cover federally-backed or federally-assisted housing through agencies outlined in the bill.

While there has been increased discussion in Congress surrounding fees, this particular legislation is not likely to move through the House Financial Services Committee. The National Apartment Association (NAA) will monitor the bill and the broader dialogue on fees by members of Congress. NAA continues its advocacy and collaborative efforts with its affiliate network to educate federal policymakers on the rental housing industry and the impacts of changes to federal housing policy and prioritized increasing industry engagement during Congress’ August recess.