New State Law Bans Rental Application Fees Starting January 1, 2024

As of January 1, 2024, a new state law is set to bring significant changes to the rental application process. This law aims to protect rental applicants from excessive fees while still allowing landlords to assess potential tenants effectively. Let’s delve into the details of this upcoming regulation and what it means for both renters and landlords.

The Ban on Application Fees

The central aspect of this new law is the prohibition of application fees imposed by landlords, rental agents, and property managers during the rental application process. However, there are two key exceptions to this ban:

  1. Credit Check Fee: Landlords and their representatives can charge applicants for the actual cost of conducting a credit check. This fee can be imposed unless the rental applicant has already provided a credit report dated no more than 90 days before submitting their application.
  2. Criminal Background Check Fee: Similarly, landlords can charge for the cost of conducting a criminal background check, unless the rental applicant has furnished a BCI/police background check also dated within 90 days before the application.

Transparency and Accountability

One crucial aspect of this new law is transparency. If a rental applicant is required to pay for either a credit check or a criminal background check, the landlord or their representative must provide the applicant with a copy of the report. This requirement ensures that applicants have access to the information being used in their evaluation.

Preventing Excessive Fees

One of the primary motivations behind this law is to prevent rental applicants from incurring substantial costs when applying for multiple rentals. In the past, prospective tenants often found themselves paying application fees for numerous properties, resulting in hundreds of dollars in expenses.

Landlords’ Rights

It’s important to note that even if rental applicants provide timely reports, landlords and their representatives still have the right to conduct these checks, among others, at the landlord’s expense. This provision ensures that landlords can thoroughly evaluate potential tenants without imposing undue financial burdens on applicants.


Starting January 1, 2024, this new state law seeks to strike a balance between protecting rental applicants from excessive fees and allowing landlords to make informed decisions about their tenants. For renters, this means fewer financial hurdles when searching for a new home. For landlords, it means continued access to essential screening tools while promoting fairness and transparency in the rental process.

As the implementation date approaches, both renters and landlords should familiarize themselves with the specifics of this law to ensure compliance and a smooth rental application process.

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