A bill demanding that all fees and other charges be listed in rental property advertisements advanced from the California Senate this week. 

Sen. Caroline Menjivar

SB 611 by Sen. Caroline Menjivar, D-Van Nuys, would require landlords to disclose all monthly costs, fees, deposits, and one-time fees, such as security deposits and application fees, in advertisements. The bill passed the Senate Wednesday, May 31, on a 32-3 bipartisan vote and is now in the Assembly. 

The legislation, inspired by President Biden’s nationwide efforts to curb what he called “junk fees,” is intended to enhance transparency in the rental market. While the California Apartment Association supports transparency, it has voiced concerns about the bill’s reach — specifically requiring the listing of fees that vary based on tenant usage or preferences, such as utility costs and optional service fees. Additionally, CAA argues that fees applicable only if a tenant violates the lease or is late with rent, which are not considered “junk fees,” should not be required in ads. 

In a letter to the senator, CAA suggested that advertisements should include rent prices, ranges for security deposits and screening fees, and any other mandatory fees, while excluding optional fees and fees only applicable if a tenant runs afoul of the rental agreement.