Understanding the Rental Application Fees in Connecticut
Understanding the Rental Application Fees in Connecticut

Renting your first apartment can feel overwhelming, especially when it comes to understanding all the different fees you have to pay. Besides the first month’s rent, there are other costs like security deposits, pet deposits, administrative fees, and CT rental application fees. These fees usually need to be paid upfront, which can be a lot for someone renting for the first time.

In this blog, you’ll get to know what rental application fees are, why landlords ask for them, and how they can vary depending on where you live. We’ll also share tips on how to lower these fees and make sure you’re treated fairly when applying for a rental.

What Is A Rental Application Fee In Connecticut?

In Connecticut, a rental application fee is a charge imposed by landlords or property management companies to handle the costs of processing rental applications. These fees cover various tasks like background checks and credit assessments, ensuring landlords make informed decisions about potential tenants.

Connecticut’s Rental Laws and Fee Policies

Landlords can charge application fees to tenants, but they must follow certain rules. These laws ensure that application fees are fair and accurately reflect the costs of screening applicants. Landlords cannot charge too much or use fees to discriminate against tenants, which is against fair housing laws.

The Connecticut Fair Housing Center indicates that about 78% of landlords in the state charge application fees. These fees typically range from $25 to $100, with an average of $50 per application. 

Rental Application Tips for Landlords

When it comes to charging an application fee, it can take time to get it right the first time. To help with that, we have listed below some of the most important do’s and don’ts for charging your prospective tenants.

Rental application fees helpful tips for landlords in ct
  1. Transparency and Disclosure Requirements

Landlords must be transparent and tell tenants how much the fee is and what it’s for before they apply. 

Additionally, landlords should provide a detailed list of fees if asked and they should also take care to avoid these common mistakes in the rental application. This ensures that tenants understand what they’re paying for and helps prevent any surprises.

  1. Run Reports on Tenant Screening

Running tenant screening reports is usually a good idea for landlords and property managers, even when it involves additional costs. The easiest way to ensure a tenant is trustworthy and hasn’t had a history of problematic rentals is to screen them.

Additionally, screening records reveal whether or not the tenant has ever been evicted. This is significant because a tenant with a history of multiple evictions is generally not wanted by landlords.

  1. Offer Refundable Application Fees

Landlords should consider offering refundable application fees. If an application is rejected before conducting credit history or background checks, it’s advisable to refund the fee. Returning the application fee is a courtesy if the landlord did not use it and can save the landlord from potential problems with tenants. 

Moreover, landlords should only accept application fees from candidates under serious consideration, aligning with regulations to ensure transparency and fairness in the rental process.

  1. Don’t Use Fees as a Source of Income

Relying on fees as a main source of income is not just a bad move for landlords, it can also cross legal lines. It’s important for landlords to understand these rules to avoid legal trouble.

Many landlords might not realize they’re making this mistake. They should know what can be charged for, like security deposits, which are limited to no more than two months’ rent (or one month’s rent if the tenant is 62 years or older). 

Additionally, the fee should cover the cost of running a background check or a credit report, not act as an extra income stream.

How long does a landlord have to return a deposit in CT?

If there are no damages, or if the total damages do not exceed the amount of the security deposit, the landlord must return the security deposit (or the remainder of it) to the tenant within thirty (30) days.

5 Tips to Lower Rental Application Fees and Be Treated Fairly

Here are the essential tips to help you lower rental application fees while ensuring fair treatment throughout the process:

  • Know the Rules: Learn about rental laws in your area so you know what’s fair. This helps when talking with landlords about fees.
  • Shop Around: Look at different rental options before deciding. You might find better deals or landlords who are more flexible with fees.
  • Ask Nicely: Don’t be afraid to ask landlords if they can lower or waive fees, especially if you’re a good tenant.
  • Look for Deals: Keep an eye out for special offers that could save you money on application fees.
  • Keep Records: Keep track of all conversations about fees. This helps if there are any disagreements later on.


It doesn’t have to be difficult to understand Connecticut rental application costs. Whether you’re a landlord ensuring your process is fair and lawful or a tenant stepping into the rental market, knowing is a must. Remember, transparency about fees, understanding your rights, and communicating clearly can make the application process smoother for everyone involved. By keeping these tips in mind, tenants can protect their interests, and landlords can build trust and respect with their prospective tenants. 

Let’s make the journey to finding the perfect rental a straightforward and positive experience for all. If you need advice on navigating the CT rental application form, consider reaching out to Idoni Management. 

Give us a call at (203) 244-7379 or get a free 20-minute consultation with experts!


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