Earlier this week, President Joe Biden unveiled what he described as moves to protect renters and promote rental affordability, actions that dovetailed with those of the Domestic Policy Council and the National Economic Council to prepare a so-called “Renters Bill of Rights.”

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will begin collecting information “to identify practices that unfairly prevent applicants and tenants from accessing or staying in housing in order to inform enforcement and policy actions under each agency’s jurisdiction.” The agencies will also collect information “on a broad range of practices that affect the rental market, including the creation and use of tenant background checks, the use of algorithms in tenant screenings, the provision of adverse action notices by landlords and property management companies, and how an applicant’s source of income factors into housing decisions.”

For its part, the CFPB will begin issuing “guidance and coordinate enforcement efforts with the FTC to ensure accurate information in the credit reporting system and to hold background check companies accountable for having unreasonable procedures.”

Meanwhile, the Federal Housing Finance Agency will launch “a public process to examine proposed actions promoting renter protections and limits on extreme rent increases for future investments.”

Though the median monthly rent in the United States fell below $2,000 last month, rents in December 2022 were, on average, still $329 more per month than they were in December 2020.

Reacting to the announcement, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, issued a statement saying, “Home impacts everything in a person’s life, and today’s announcements are another important step to bringing everyone together – federal, state, and local partners, as well as landlords and advocates – to create a market that works for America’s renters.”

Roughly 35% of the U.S. population — over 44 million households — live in rental housing, according to the White House.

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