Report finds people of color pay more in rental application fees and security deposits

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The rental market continues to be tough on those looking for a place to call home. Not only is the cost of rent increasing, but so are the application fees and one study found people of color are paying more.

North Carolina is one of 42 states that allow landlords to charge what they want for application fees.

An ABC11 viewer said she feels some apartment complexes were making her pay the application fees, even though they knew they wouldn't accept her Section 8 voucher.

According to Zillow's Consumer Housing Trend Report renters of color typically submit more applications, and pay more in application fees, before they secure a place to live than white renters do.

Manny Garcia with Zillow Research said, "Nationwide the median amount was $50.00 for an application fee, and it was pretty much the same for white renters. For black renters it was $65.00, for Hispanic or Latino renters it was $80.00 and for Asian American Pacific Islander renters, it was $100.00. To some extent that reflects the geography of the rental market, so those Asian American renters especially and in some extent, Latino renters are more likely to be in the West think places like California that have you know exorbitant cost rental markets. So there's some inequality by race that's impacting geographically, disproportionately when you see those high upfront costs."

The report also claims renters of color also typically pay a higher security deposit when they move in. "Across the south, this is like, for you know the region that Raleigh is a part of, the typical security deposit for a renter that paid one was $500, and again for white renters, it's the same amount. Black renters typically saw $580.00 security deposit and Latino renters saw one that was $550.00 in the south," Garcia adds.

The best advice before paying any fees, ask as many questions upfront, like will they accept Section 8 vouchers, how many have applied so far, and what kind of impact does past rental or credit history impact your application.
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