Regulations for rent increases under consideration

Photo courtesy: Yardi Breeze

Inflation has caused homeowners and landlords to raise the prices for tenants. The problem with
this: It’s happening without a timely notice. The Leon County city commission is considering a
proposed ordinance that regulates rent increases.

According to the Tallahassee Democrat, in the past year, rent has increased by 15% in Leon
County. The ordinance wouldn’t stop or limit owners from increasing rent prices. Instead, it
would require owners to give tenants a 60 day notice when the rent increase is over 5% of the
present rent amount.

As of now, owners can notify renters 30 days before an increase. Under the ordinance, renters
and owners can agree on the increase, come to a compromise, or renters can decline the increase.
Landlords can enforce the increase or not renew the lease of a tenant that does not agree with the
new price.

Homeowner and Florida A&M University student, Pam Rentz said that the ordinance is

“The ordinance is a good idea truthfully,” Rentz said. “This is my third year renting out my
home and my prices have gone up by $100 because I felt like it was too low to begin with. With
us being in a recession, renters need this. People need time to get their affairs in order and decide
whether they can pay the increase.”

Inflation is affecting residents nationwide. According to the U.S. Inflation Calculator, as of
September of this year, the annual inflation rate is at 8.2%. Consumers have dealt with higher
grocery prices, fluctuating gas prices and rent increases.

Florida State University student Makenzy St.Louis said that his rent has recently increased.

“I got an email saying that my rent would increase from $1,000 to $1,700, St. Louis said. “Them
being able to go up by $700 out of nowhere is ridiculous. How does anyone budget for an extra
$700 a month? I’m a college student and can’t work as much as I’d need to pay for that. The
ordinance should limit how high landlords could raise the rent within a year. An earlier notice
would’ve been nice too but I’ll probably just start looking for a new place to live.”

The affordable housing crisis has been an issue since the pandemic. According to Legal Services
of North Florida, more than 1,000 Tallahassee residents put in eviction applications.

State funded program, Our Florida , allowed residents to get rental assistance for 6 months.
Residents were also allowed to reapply, as of now those applications are still under review.