Renters Of Color Pay Higher Housing Fees, According To Zillow

A new report shows the startling differences.

In Zillow’s latest Consumer Housing Trends Report some startling numbers reveal how renters of color pay more in security deposits and applications fees than white applicants.

The report states the average rental application is around $50, which can be a lot if applicants fill out more than one to find an apartment. It adds that Black and Latino people are more likely to rent than own and typically apply to more rentals before finding a place.

According to Zillow, the average application fee for Black renters and Latino renters can average as much as $65 and $80, respectively.

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Additionally, security deposits are also unfairly tied to race, according to the report. 90 percent of renters paid a security deposit in 2021 with an average of around $700, but 93 percent of renters of color had to pay a deposit compared to white renters (85 percent). The average amount paid by Black renters ($750) was also higher than white renters ($600).

“Rents grew more last year than any year on record, forcing many renters to look for a more affordable option. According to Essence, about 2 in 5 renters who moved in the past year said a rent hike influenced their decision to move,” Manny Garcia, a population scientist at Zillow, said in the report. “Renters typically do not have much of a financial cushion, and the cost of finding a new place to live can be an expensive burden. Regrettably, renters of color are especially likely to experience rising rents, and when they shop for a new rental, generally report higher upfront costs, restricting the mobility that is often held up as a benefit of renting.”

Read the full report here.

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