Greystar accused of hidden charges, “junk fees” in Colorado
Tenants are paying collectively billions in undisclosed fees every year
A former tenant in Colorado has filed a lawsuit against Greystar, the nation’s largest apartment management company, alleging hidden charges and “junk fees” for services such as pest control and valet trash.
Nichole Collins, who lived in The Hamptons, a Lakewood apartment complex managed by Greystar until April, filed the lawsuit in Denver District Court, the Denver Post reported.
The lawsuit aims for class-action case certification to represent Greystar renters across the state who challenge undisclosed fees within their leases.
The nonprofit law firm Towards Justice, representing Collins alongside the Justice for the People Legal Center, defines junk fees as mandatory charges not included in the advertised monthly rent and hidden from prospective tenants.
Greystar allegedly charges $4 per month for pest control and $25 monthly for trash service, fees not transparently communicated to renters.
Greystar, headquartered in Charleston, S.C., rents apartments in various Colorado locations, including Boulder, Colorado Springs, Denver, Durango, Fort Collins, and Loveland. As of now, the company has not responded to requests for comments on the lawsuit.
The National Consumer Law Center estimates that consumers are collectively paying billions of dollars annually in junk fees tied to rental agreements, bank accounts, credit cards, and other services.
Towards Justice Executive Director David Seligman describes the use of junk fees by landlords as pervasive and said the practice has been ongoing for years.
The lawsuit alleges that Greystar’s fees violate the Colorado Consumer Protection Act and involve breach of contract and unjust enrichment. Particularly, the pest control fee is contentious as Colorado landlords are obligated to provide pest control as part of their basic legal obligations to tenants.
Seligman said that while individual fees may seem insignificant, they add up significantly when multiplied across thousands of residents. The lawsuit also highlights the financial pressures faced by Colorado tenants due to high rents, making hidden fees even more burdensome.
In Collins’ case, Greystar took over management of her apartment complex in 2020 and presented her with a lease renewal offer that only disclosed the headline rent. It was only after accepting the offer that Collins discovered the additional mandatory charges.
— Ted Glanzer