ORLANDO, Fla. – Angel Ayala and his family have called a house in east Orlando their home for the last six years.
“I just get up in the morning, go to work, and do what I have to do,” he said. “I feel comfortable. I feel relaxed.”
The Army veteran said that changed last Friday when he received a call from his landlord.
“He said, ‘Well, this is a little bad news. I’ve got to raise your rent,” he said.
He told Ayala his rent was going up by $700 per month – a 50% increase.
“I said, ‘Excuse me? You for real?’, and he said, ‘Yes,’” Ayala said. “It hit me hard. We were looking at each other – me and my wife – and I said, ‘Well, what are we going to do now?’”
News 6 posed that question to Monica Ramsey, Executive Vice President for the Apartment Association of Greater Orlando.
She said landlords are feeling the impacts of inflation just like their tenants, but there could be some wiggle room when it comes to renewal notices with higher price tags.
“As soon as you get that notice, make an appointment to go see them and talk to them and discuss what the options are,” she said. “There are options available. It’s just making sure that you discuss them with them before making a quick decision.”
Ayala said he negotiated with his landlord, who knocked $200 off the increase, but Ayala is still struggling.
New numbers from Rent.com show over the last year, renters in the Orlando metro area have seen the seventh-largest increase in the nation with a jump of 38%.
Because of that, Orange County Commissioner Emily Bonilla proposed declaring a housing state of emergency and implementing rent control measures.
News 6 obtained a copy of an internal memo that shows the county has now hired GAI Consultants to help investigate whether a housing emergency exists.
According to the memo, the company will determine how many apartments and homes could be impacted if the measure is approved and what kind of economic impact the measure could have on the community.
The company estimates its study will cost the county approximately $59,200.
Its findings are expected to be released at the Orange County Board of County Commissioners meeting on June 7 when Bonilla’s housing emergency proposal appears on the agenda.
For now, Ayala said he’s exploring his options with his family.
“We will be fine, you know. God first, family second, and nation third,” he said.