Leon County Commission to Consider Regulations on Rent Increases

Leon County Commission to Consider Regulations on Rent Increases

Today the Leon County Commission will hear an overview of local ordinances in Florida that require rent increase notification to certain residential tenants and allow tenants to be released from their residential leases, without penalty, when rent is increased by more than an identified threshold amount.

At a meeting on June 14, 2022, the Leon County Commission requested an agenda item reviewing local ordinances adopted by various local governments related to the landlord-tenant relationship.

Staff Analysis

The review found that a number of local governments in Florida, including Broward County, Collier County, the City of Hialeah, the City of Lake Worth Beach, the City of Miami Beach, Miami-Dade County, the City of Naples, Orange County, Palm Beach County, the City of Tampa, the City of West Palm Beach, and Islamorada, Village of Islands, have recently enacted ordinances that require written notice to a tenant when the landlord proposes to raise the rent. 

Staff notes that Collier County twice considered an ordinance to require written notification of proposed rent increases but declined to adopt the ordinance. 

The local ordinances that require written notification of rental increases were summarized by staff as follows:

Applicability.  The applicability of the ordinances varies. For example, the City of Hialeah ordinance applies to residential tenancies without a specific duration when rent is paid on a month-to-month basis.  Other ordinances apply to rental agreements with a specific term, or during a residential tenancy without a specific duration when the rent is payable on a monthly basis, such as in: the City of Lake Worth Beach, the City of Miami Beach, Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach County, the City of West Palm Beach, and Islamorada, Village of Islands.

Exemptions.  Most of the ordinances do not provide for exemptions.  However, Broward County’s ordinance does not apply to mobile home lots governed by Chapter 723, F.S. and other types of lodging such as transient public lodging establishments or vacation rentals.  Other exemptions will be considered by the Broward County Commission at its meeting in October. Orange County’s ordinance also does not apply to mobile home lot rents in mobile home parks.

Notice.  Typically, the ordinances require landlords to provide 60-days’ written notice to tenants when proposing to raise rents by more than 5% of the current rental amount.  An exception is the City of Hialeah, which requires written notice when rents are to be raised over 10% of the present rental amount. 

Options.  The ordinances give tenants the option to accept the increased rental amount, reach a compromise with the landlord, or reject the increase.  If the tenant rejects the increase or has not reached a compromise with the landlord, the landlord may enforce the rent increase or require the tenant to vacate the dwelling unit at the end of the lease term.

Enforcement.  The responsibility for enforcement is typically assigned to code enforcement officers, though some of the ordinances do not provide an express enforcement mechanism. 

Penalties.  Some of the ordinances do not specify a penalty. For the ordinances that provide a penalty, the violations are civil in nature and impose fines in varying amounts.  ($500 per offense is common).

Scope.  In Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach Counties, which are charter counties, the ordinance applies countywide, unless in conflict with an applicable municipal ordinance.  In Orange County, which is also a charter county, the ordinance applies within the incorporated and unincorporated areas.  Had Collier County adopted the ordinance as proposed, the ordinance would have applied only in the unincorporated areas of the county. For the municipalities and village that have adopted ordinances, the ordinances apply within the respective municipal and village boundaries.

The staff recommendation for the agenda item is for the elected officials to accept the overview of local ordinances and to provide future direction.

6 Responses to "Leon County Commission to Consider Regulations on Rent Increases"

  1. Landlords are very well protected. If they werent,ntgeyd sell and get out of the business. Many of them are absentee foreign entites that dont give a rats ash about quality. They rent out roach and black mold infested properties with low quality and poor efficiency appliances, hire sex offender property managers and maintenance workers then disregard tenant complaints, and then raise the tenants’ rents so much that it takes 4 working adults to afford the rent. The lack of DECENT affordable housing is a scourge and a disgrace.

  2. I always laugh at all of the non-landlords talking about the greedy evil landlords. Only people that own rentals/investors and understand all the complexities of this type of business should be commenting. When costs for services like HVAC/plumbing etc have gone through the roof and many materials are more than double what they were 3 years ago, not to mention property tax has greatly increased (why aren’t they reducing taxes to lower rent??), Mortgage rates above 7%, and home insurance is on an unsustainable path to unaffordability, how does one expect rent prices to also not go up?? Insurance regulations are getting tighter and tighter and providing coverage for less at higher price tag. A landlord can’t lose money just to pay for someone to live in their unit. While I agree there are some bad operators but most landlords are fair/maintain properties and provide rent increases based on costs going up, not just b/c they want to make more money. I for one have no issue with a 2 month notice for rent going up. Regarding developers I’m confused how everyone is against developers as they see them as some type of greedy investors, yet we have a house supply shortage, by limiting development you are keeping prices high. Why not reduce all of the regulations around development and increase supply which would help bring prices down. BTW you can evict someone in 22-40 days in most cases.

  3. Sadly… Tallahassee is loaded with slumlords who fail to do reasonable upkeep and/or required maintenance on their property. Try redirecting some of the “gun violence” boondoggle funds (or any other funds from the many wasteful and feckless vote-buying social programs) to Code Enforcement and Legal to address this growing problem. THAT is step one.

    I find it humorous that the very same people who are responsible for approving unfettered development – which results in artificially inflated home and rent prices and unsustainable government spending – are the very same ones who lament “affordable housing” needs and want to regulate the investors after the fact… ’cause, you know… they care. That said, a simple contract-based legally-binding solution to this specific issue is reasonable… to wit:

    Stop electing DLPs (Dems/Libs/Progs)… lol… just a suggestion, but I digress…

    1. Require ALL rental/lease residential property to be governed by a formal and verifiable rental/lease agreement signed by both parties. No agreement, no utility services… no utility services, no keys to the property. A mutually beneficial check and balance.

    2. Require that Landlords must inform their tenant (in writing and certified delivery) of any planned rent/lease increase no less than 60-days prior to the end of their tenant’s current lease. If the tenant doesn’t want to absorb the increase, they then have 60-days (or until their current lease ends) to find another place.

    3. If the tenant chooses not to accept the increase, they must vacate the property (by law/ordinance) at the end of their current lease, or face arrest for trespassing. No formal eviction process required for this circumstance.

    4. If tenant is arrested for trespassing (see #3), they risk forfeiture of all personal property that remains in or around said property once arrested (removed) from the property, and shall have no legal or financial recourse against the landlord/owner.

    5. If landlord fails to follow the required notification procedures… it’s Tango Sierra on the landlord

    6. Month-to- Month rentals/leases and AirBnB type properties are not governed by this ordinance/law

  4. So much of Florida’s Landlord/Tenant laws are skewed toward the tenant. It takes months to evict anyone for failure to pay rent or to adhere to the terms of the lease. And during that time, they know that they’re on the way out in an unfriendly manner and follow the rules even less that they did before.

    Most leases are for 1 year and renewals are applied 1 year at a time. The tenant is informed of the increase sometime during that lease. A rule that the increase has to be informed at least 60 or 90 days in advance is not unreasonable.

    But it’s time that the rules do more to protect the owner of the $150,000 investment. It’s the only way that quality housing will remain a viable business model and available to renters.

  5. The Landlord should have to give 3 Months Notice that they are increasing the Rent. That is about the same amount of time it will take for the Landlord to Evict some one legally (or it used to be).

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