AffordableHousing.com enforces fee transparency to protect consumers
in coordination with new White House junk fee initiatives
BOCA RATON, Fla., Nov. 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — AffordableHousing.com, the largest resource for affordable housing in the US, today announced that, effective immediately, all rental listings on the site will be required to divulge any additional fees upfront. The move comes as part of the company’s commitment to help protect renters from unfair practices and undisclosed fees that often drive up the cost of a rental well beyond the listed price.
“The common practice of publishing a lower price and then hitting the renter with a bunch of surprise fees will not be tolerated on our site,” says Richard Cupelli, AffordableHousing.com CEO. “We always provide renters the ability to search for properties on AffordableHousing.com free of charge, and we work closely with housing authorities nationwide to ensure accurate listings that adhere to local regulations. Protecting the consumer is built-into our business model.”
Each month, over 4 million Americans search for a new rental home on AffordableHousing.com. The company estimates that 20% of its searchers are Section 8 voucher holders.
One such renter Alicia Marie, a part-time worker from Ohio says, “I had one property [owner] say to me, ‘Well you’re using a voucher, so we have to charge you a higher application fee.’ How does that make sense? It creates another barrier for us to find housing.”
Such bait-and-switch advertising tactics have long plagued American consumers shopping for everything from rental property to vehicles. With its new fee transparency requirement, AffordableHousing.com safeguards against such tactics and prohibits any landlord from publishing misinformation that makes it difficult or even impossible for renters to comparison shop.
This past summer, AffordableHousing.com also rolled out enhanced verification measures to prevent fraud while rewarding property owners practicing good business. Landlords with a Trusted Owner Badge on AffordableHousing.com have a history of good standing, ensuring their credibility to prospective renters. Listings by Trusted Owner Badge holders are also prominently displayed.
Earlier this year, the White House called on three of the largest online platforms for housing to join its initiative to end junk fees for the purpose of protecting consumers. As one of those platforms and the top source for government assisted housing listings, including Section 8 properties, AffordableHousing.com was quick to get onboard.
In June 2023, the company committed to enforcing its requirement that property owners disclose all refundable and non-refundable fees publicly on their AffordableHousing.com property listings. Such charges include fees for pets, parking, trash removal, pest control, and so on. With fee transparency, all costs must be provided by the landlords in order to set up their listings and then posted publicly in the listings for renters to factor into their budgets before signing a lease.
“The upfront disclosure of fees is good for property owners as well,” says Cupelli. “Making the rental process and associated costs clear from the start streamlines communication and the entire process of securing a tenant.” He adds, “Plus, it’s a quick and easy way to help qualify renters.”
The only property listing website that accepts common applications for properties, government assistance programs like Section 8, and Public Housing, AffordableHousing.com also offers robust search capabilities, including an affordability calculator and Section 8 eligibility filters that help renters know what they can afford.
For more than 20 years, AffordableHousing.com has provided innovative technology and real solutions that help solve and simplify some of the most complex challenges impacting the availability of affordable housing in the United States. By simplifying access to available resources, AffordableHousing.com boosts participation in government programs, increasing the much-needed supply of affordable housing nationwide and providing more homes to more families.
View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-nations-largest-resource-for-affordable-housing-bans-hidden-rental-fees-301991125.html