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Renters of Color Pay Higher Security Deposits

Doug Page
Apr 06, 2022
An Asian-American family plays Monopoly inside their home.

Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders pay the most

Renters of color are more likely to pay higher security deposits, submit more applications and pay more in application fees than white renters in their search for a place to live, online real estate platform Zillow reports today.

The typical security deposit is $700, Zillow says, but white renters often pay less, around $600, compared to Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders who pay $1,000. Black renters pay $700 and Latino renters pay $650, says Zillow.

Asian American/Pacific Islander and Latino renters are more likely to face higher rents because they often live in the West, Zillow says. In comparison, white renters are more likely to live in rural markets and in the Midwest, where rents are less.

“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,” said Zillow’s Manny Garcia, a population scientist.

Rent prices across the country are up 17% from last year.

A $750 security deposit represents a significant amount of a typical renter's wealth. Zillow's research indicates a typical renter holds $3,400 total across savings, checking, retirement and investment accounts. More than one-third (38%) of renters surveyed say they couldn't cover an unexpected expense of $1,000.

The typical white and Asian American/Pacific Islander renter submits two applications when looking for a rental while Black and Latino renters more likely submit three applications, Zillow says.

While the median application fee is $50, Zillow reports it’s higher for people of color, with Asian Americans being charged $100 per application while Black and Latino renters were charged $80 and $65 per application, respectively.

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