Home Rental industry Proposed bill could reduce number of tenant application fees potential tenants pay

Proposed bill could reduce number of tenant application fees potential tenants pay


Reusable tenant screening reports could mean relief for potential tenants

In Los Angeles, the difficult and expensive rental market presents a particular stumbling block for many potential tenants. Very often, they are required to pay potentially exorbitant fees every time they apply for an apartment or other rental property. With rental prices already exorbitant, this poses a big challenge for many tenants who are not in the highest income brackets. This often limits their ability to find the best apartment for them and the deadlines in which they can apply, making it more difficult to secure a rental property.

AB 2559, a new bill just approved by the California Senate, plans to ease that burden for tenants, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

The wording of the bill, as noted, states that “this bill would define the term ‘reusable tenant selection report’ to mean a consumer report, as defined, that was prepared within 30 previous days by a consumer reporting agency at the request and expense of an applicant, is made directly available to the owner for use in the rental application process or is provided through a website third party that routinely provides reusable tenant screening reports that are available to landlords and that comply with all federal and state laws regarding the use and disclosure of information contained in a consumer report by a consumer reporting agency, and is available to the owner at no cost to access or use.

Additionally, the bill states that “the bill would require a reusable tenant screening report to include specified information, including the results of an eviction history check, as prescribed. The bill would prohibit an owner from charging the applicant a fee for the owner to access the report or a fee to review the application.

However, the tenant group behind the bill suffered a slight defeat when lawmakers amended the bill to make compliance with the law voluntary for landlords rather than mandatory, which was a related fact. to the Los Angeles Times by Mike Blount, who is the chief of staff for Assemblymember Christopher M. Ward (D-San Diego) who sponsored the bill.

Larry Gross, executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival, quoted the Los Angeles Times as saying, “”The watered down bill is another example of the state legislature failing California tenants and failing to respond adequately to the housing crisis we are facing. . It’s the “Mad Max” scene for renters trying to find apartments these days. By the time they apply, these apartments are already gone. Frankly, we haven’t seen the worst yet, because there are still protections in the city of Los Angeles, and if those expire, we’re just going to see an avalanche of evictions and more people trying to find more housing rental.”

According to the Los Angeles Times, Assemblymember Ward said he thinks making compliance with this law optional would give landlords and tenants time to get used to the idea, and then eventually a conversation could take place about the ability to make reusable reports the normal practice. in the rental sector.

For now, the bill is now going to the State Assembly for approval and then, if approved, to Governor Gavin Newsom’s office for signing. If the bill becomes law, it would make California the third US state to approve the use of reusable rental control reports. Washington and Maryland are the first two states to approve a similar measure and adopt the practice.

These reports would be processed by a third party company and would be valid for a period of 30 days.

Assemblymember Ward said, quoted by the Los Angeles Times: “It is unfortunately increasingly common for tenants to pay significantly higher application fees and have to apply for multiple properties due to limited supply. “It’s really a burden on middle- and low-income Californians trying to get by, on top of all the high cost of living issues that arise today.”

The rental market in Los Angeles has always been one of the most competitive and difficult in the country and this difficulty makes it dangerous for renters who cannot afford to find an apartment quickly and risk finding themselves without housing due to the lack of affordable rental housing.