White House Takes Aim at Junk Fees in Apartment Rentals, Vows Anti-Price Gouging Support

As some big online real estate markets agree to incorporate hidden costs, such application and convenience fees for apartment rentals in their upfront advertised pricing, renters could soon be able to expect more transparency on what they’ll spend for their flats according to White House.

Businesses including Zillow, Apartments.com, and AffordableHousing.com have pledged to heed the administration’s need for clarification over how many additional fees – often adding hundreds in fees – renters may encounter when applying for and concluding rental agreements. 

The White House also pointed out that after tenants have signed leases, they might be hit with convenience charges for online rent payments, mail sorting fees, or what it referred to in its fact sheet as “January fees”—fees added on for no apparent reason other than the fact that it’s a new year.

The White House, which has been focusing on trash fees in other industries including plane travel and concert tickets, announced this step. 

According to the administration, these savings will aid Americans in sticking to their budgets as long as inflationary pressures persist.

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Justice Department’s Updated Strategy for Antitrust Lawsuits

On Wednesday, the Biden administration also unveiled a number of initiatives to combat price gouging in other industries and pledged to provide more precise rules for how the Justice Department will enforce antitrust laws when businesses decide to merge. 

In an effort to combat price gouging, the Agriculture Department is working with a bipartisan group of 31 state attorneys general to target businesses that process meat and poultry and charge exorbitant prices as a result of the lack of competition in the sector. 

The administration discovered last year that only four companies nationwide control more than half of the beef, pork, and poultry markets. 

By providing money to support difficult cases and aid in research, the Justice Department intends to help state attorneys uncover anticompetitive business practices in their states.  

On Wednesday, the Justice Department clarified its strategy for handling antitrust lawsuits.

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Source: www.cbsnews.com

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