ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Update: Orange County’s Board of Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously voted to put a Rental Notices Ordinance in place.
The ordinance protects tenants by requiring landlords to give a 60-day written notice for rent increases of more than 5%.
The ordinance also provides protections for both residents and landlords who do not have a written lease agreement in place or pay rent on a quarterly or monthly basis, the county said.
Either party can terminate the residential agreements by giving the other party no less than 60 days written notice.
“The 60-day notice is critical. Having this ordinance in place gives tenants time to prepare and seek alternative housing in the event that they do not wish to stay where they are currently living,” Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings said in a news release. “We’ve seen similar measures adopted in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, and as a Board we are confident that this ordinance will further protect our Orange County residents.”
Residents can file a complaint against a landlord or property owner who has raised the rent by more than 5% without giving a 60-day written notice by calling 3-1-1.
The ordinance will take effect once filed with the Florida Department of State, which can take up to 10 days, the county said.
Read our earlier version below:
We could be one step closer to finding out whether renters will have protection against steep rent hikes in Orange County.
Rent prices in the county have gone up nearly 30% since 2021, and tenants have been pressuring leaders to do something about it.
On Tuesday, more than 30 people demanded leaders side in their favor on the rent stabilization ordinances, speaking during public comment and many rallied outside the chamber, demanding the county commission freeze rent increases before prices get so high that they need to leave their homes.
The ordinance would cap rent increases at 5% for one year, along with a 60-day notice.
“I ask you to please make a change and hear a mother’s cry,” resident Jessy Correa said. “I’m not the only story. There are many more stories out there.”
In addition to residents, demands were also made by state lawmakers like Rep. Carlos Guillermo-Smith.
“Right now we are not facing a landlords crisis; it’s a renters and tenants crisis and a renters and tenants emergency.”
The rent cap would mostly impact owners, not single-family homes.
If it does pass, landlords like Dave Barry worry for their own livelihoods.
“Five percent is not realistic,” he said. “Inflation is 9.1%.”
Barry owns properties in Parramore and Holden Heights. He said if they freeze rent spikes to 5%. He said if they freeze rent spikes to 5%, landlords like himself would go under.
A referendum must be passed by Aug. 23 to end up on the November ballot.
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