Tenants across the United States are reportedly facing multiple fees and hidden surcharges, with one tenant suing his landlord for an absurd $100 charge on his monthly bill.
It’s no secret that rental prices have been rising across the country and remain relatively high.
There were unprecedented increases in major cities.
New York City residents, particularly in Manhattan, saw their average monthly rent rise to a record high of $5,588 in July CNBC.
Data showed a 30 percent increase in rental prices in the city before the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic in spring 2020.
Although it’s not just The Big Apple – a study last month showed that overall rent across the country has increased 3.6 percent since August 2022 Nerd wallet.
Several experts noted that the increase is now slowing, but landlords are reportedly charging a plethora of fees that continue to maintain the high monthly rent.
The fees add up and cost tenants several hundred more per month than the base price The Wall Street Journal.
Of course, parking fees and pet fees have been relatively common at apartment complexes for years, but some properties have introduced new fees that may seem questionable to some.
Some additional charges include pest control, trash pickup and valet parking, and even use of a mailbox.
For routine maintenance requests, some complexes also incur additional fees for the service.
There have also been higher fees for tenants to move in and out, and several complexes across the country are reportedly charging “rental management” fees.
Even stranger, a landlord in Minnesota allegedly added a $100 “January fee” to tenants’ bills — with no indication of what residents would receive in return for the cost.
Minnesota tenant attorney Mike Vraa told the Wall Street Journal that the fees make no sense.
“A lot of this stuff used to just be called ‘rent,'” he noted.
Vraa runs an organization called home linethat tracks new and unspecified rental fees for complexes in the state.
According to the WSJ, the fees are rising and continuing because real estate investment companies supposedly want to improve their financial position.
One of the largest providers of single-family home rentals in the United States. Invitation housesannounced in the spring that it planned to increase its profit margins through fees for home features.
Additional services such as video doorbells and the replacement of filters for the air conditioning of the devices would cost extra.
The company’s public filings available to the publication appear to show that other revenue, which includes additional fees, has doubled rental growth from 2022.
Although Invitation Homes argued that the surcharges and fees come with tenants’ alleged demand for additional services.
“We continue to see strong demand for the convenient, professional services that make renting a home with us a worry-free experience,” a spokesperson told WSJ.
Another private rental company in the Midwest also told the publication that it doubled its fee income from last year on 20 properties it owned.
“People are paying it,” said an anonymous manager at the organization.
Although some US government and state officials have taken note of the trend among some landlords and are making efforts to improve the fee situation.
The White House reported in July The Apartment listing sites like Zillow and Apartments.com have agreed to require landlords to list all included fees and costs alongside their listing prices.
Colorado and Maine have also reportedly made special efforts to limit some pet fees and applications.
The transparency could be a significant step forward, as Charlie Bliss, director of advocacy at Atlanta Legal Aid, told WSJ that some potential tenants don’t learn about the additional fees until they’ve paid hundreds in application costs.
Bliss added that the tenants are then trapped in the deal.
Some disagree with the supposedly hidden aspect of the allegations.
David Howard, Managing Director of National Rental Housing Councilargued that landlords were not being sneaky about their fees, but were rather offsetting increased operating costs.
“The reality is that providers are facing relentless and often unprecedented increases in the underlying costs of virtually every aspect of business, from operations to financing and supply chain to labor and regulations,” Howard told WSJ.
According to data from RentCafeThe average rental price for an apartment in the USA is $1,702 per month.
For more related content, check out The US Sun’s coverage of a three-bedroom former warehouse in New York City that was renovated at a cost of $7,000 a month.
The US Sun also has the story of a tenant who was allegedly forced to pay his landlord $5,000 in fees after being evicted.