Posts Tagged ‘49.50’

ATTENTION FRISCO LANDLORDS: You Can’t Charge a $49.50 Application Fee – Take a Look at This Example on Page

Friday, August 11th, 2017

Here we go:

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Now let’s hear from the California Apartment Association:

“As you consider prospective renters in 2017, remember that your applicant screening fee can only cover the expenses you incur in the process. This includes the actual money spent gathering information, as well as time spent by you or your staff. But no matter how much you pay for tenant screening, your fee to applicants may not exceed $47.72. That figure represents this year’s maximum applicant-screening charge. Each December, the state of California adjusts its cap on applicant-screening fees based on changes to the Consumer Price Index. This year’s adjustment amounted to an increase of $1.05.”

A landlord not following what the CAA says is a bad sign from the get-go.

The kind of people who overcharge on the application fee are the kind of people who do other things wrong as landlords as well.

(OTOH, I’m sure many landlords would prefer naive, moneyed tenants who say, “Take my money, take my money,” as they are less likely to complain about other issues.)

Anyway, the cost of doing a background check has come down over the years, non? So why not just charge prospective tenants the eight dollars or whatever you are out of pocket? Cause I’ll tell you, this isn’t a good look, this nickel-and-diming at the start of a potential $40-something thousand dollar land deal.

Speaking of which, back in the day, Before the Aughts, back during DotCom 1.0, let’s say 1998 or so, you’d see 50 people showing up at open houses. They’d each pay an application fee of $50 or so and then the manager / landlord / agent would have a nice multi-thousand dollar tax-free payday just by depositing a bunch of checks at the bank. Not bad for a few hours “work.” And they wouldn’t even do a background check on you, the sucker prospective tenant, ’cause that would increase costs.

A cite from that era:

“Some landlords in the San Francisco Bay Area were found guilty of charging application fees of $50 or more and/or collecting application fees when no rentals were even available.”

That’s what happens when people treat the application process as a profit center.

Anyway, choose wisely, tenants.

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