Rent hike notices filter in, legal expert says tenants have few options

One tenant said his rent went up $400 a month

ORLANDO, Fla. – Thousands of tenants are riding the wave of uncertainty after getting notices showing rent will go up.

Rent hikes are causing tenants in the Orlando area to adjust their budgets, but some are wondering if there is another way they can take to fight the increase.

Savion Eagleton lives in an apartment in Orlando. He said a few months ago he and his roommate paid around $1,400 per month for rent.

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In November, they found out their rent will increase to $1,800.

“I didn’t want to resign after I found that out, I actually went out to various areas of Orlando to try to find something cheaper,” Eagleton said.

He had no luck in his search. Eagleton said he realized many of the surrounding apartments he checked had similar increases.

He determined it would cost more to move than to renew his lease. However, the spike in rent forced him to apply for additional jobs to bring in more revenue.

“I had to take those extra steps to continue my life as it was prior to the rent going up,” Eagleton said.

The Orlando-area real estate market is seeing some of the highest rent hikes in history.

In September News 6 reported rent was up 20% since January.

“I just don’t think it’s fair to jack it up that high, Eagleton said.

News 6 Analyst Steve Kramer says unfortunately tenants have few options to stop rent increases.

“In the state of Florida, we really don’t have rent controls, our state kind of operates as a free market, and that means that tenants if they don’t like the rent that they’re paying, their option is to try to find another place to live,” he said.

However, Kramer is cautioning people to pay close attention to lease agreements, adding if there is a breach of contract tenants can take legal action.

“If the landlord doesn’t provide the proper notice that they agreed to or if they go ahead and make a raise in the rent that’s not authorized by the terms of the lease then that tenant does have the recourse of going to court,” he said,

Although there is no rent control law in the state, tenants are hoping that will change.

Eagleton is worried the price hike could be even greater next year.

About the Author:

Treasure joined News 6 at the start of 2021, coming to the Sunshine State from Michigan.