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What is the ‘Renters Bill of Rights’? President Biden wants to limit rent increases

The POTUS is looking to give more support to renters on the federal level as landlords are squeezing renters.

What is the ‘Renters Bill of Rights’? President Biden wants to limit rent increases
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The White House has announced new plans to help people renting in a new communique. Named “Blueprint for a Renters Bill of Rights”, the statement lists some of the measures the administration wants to take on a federal level to help a burgeoning group of people as home-ownerships declines. Over a third of the American population, 44 million households, rent their homes.

POTUS wants renters to have:

  • Safe, Quality, Accessible, and Affordable Housing
  • Clear and Fair Leases
  • Education, Enforcement, and Enhancement of Renter Rights
  • The Right to Organize
  • Eviction Prevention, Diversion, and Relief

How does the White House plan to achieve this?

A bulletin released on Wednesday announced the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will be stepping up their information gathering methods to enable both parties to identify when renters are being unfairly forced out of accomodation.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced it will launch a new public process to examine proposed actions promoting renter protections and limits on egregious rent increases.

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development will publish a notice of proposed rulemaking that owners of rental properties must provide 30-days notice before terminating a lease due to non-payment of rent.

Will all of this mean anything?

There is no announcement of real rent price controls from the FTC and analysts believe the organisation does not have the power to do so. An announcement from the FTC on such a measure would liekly be quahsed in the conservative Supreme Court.

“The Supreme Court is more conservative. It is less inclined to let agencies assert authorities that Congress did not explicitly give them. Congress never empowered the FTC to limit how much residential rents may increase,” Cowen analyst Jaret Seiberg said in a recent note. “It is why we would expect the courts to reject this type of regime.”

Rocketing prices a danger for all renters

Rent prices increased by 7.45% in the last year, the lowest in 15 months. However, that is still thriple the annual increase compared to two years ago. With interest rates at their highest since the 2008 financial crash there are preventative concerns that support is needed; landlords are likely to increase prices as their mortgages increase. Before the covid-19 pandemic, over 2 million eviction fillings and roughly 900,000 evictions occurred annually.

Progressive Democrat Caucus has been a the front of the rental protection push, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

“In the absence of robust investments in fair and affordable housing, it is clear that additional timely executive action is needed to address the urgent issue of historically high rental costs and housing instability,” the lawmakers wrote. “…We urge your Administration to pursue all possible strategies to end corporate price gouging in the real estate sector.”