ORLANDO, Fla. – Commissioners in Orange County approved a new ordinance Tuesday that requires landlords to give written notice for rent hikes over a certain amount.
The commission voted unanimously to approve the ordinance, which will apply throughout the county, even in the towns and cities.
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Under the ordinance, landlords must give their tenants written notice of any rent hikes over 5%, and they must do it at least 60 days before the increase takes effect.
Residents and landlords who don’t have written lease agreements and pay rent on a quarterly or monthly basis will also have similar protections.
The ordinance also allows renters to file a complaint if a landlord or property owner raises rents by more than 5% without giving the 60-day written notice. They just have to call 311.
The new policy will take effect in the next 10 days.
Still on the table is a possible ordinance that would cap rent increases. Commissioners discussed how it could be enforced and when it might go into effect.
Commissioners have been split about whether to vote for the proposal, with some like Emily Bonilla — who introduced the proposal — pushing for its adoption.
“I’ve been there myself. I’ve been homeless. I’ve lived in affordable housing,” Bonilla said. “And I know the struggles of generational poverty, and I just want to make sure that I help my constituents the best I can do that they don’t have to go through what I went through.”
Others, such as Commissioners Victoria Siplin and Christine Moore, said they won’t support the plan and warned of potential lawsuits against the county if passed.
“I do care about the people,” Moore said. “I just think this is the wrong approach.”
The county hired a consultant company earlier this year that warned about the consequences of implementing rent controls, including lower production of affordable housing in the county.
The board will move forward with a public hearing on Aug. 9. Members said the vote on the rent stabilization ordinance will come some time after that.
If approved, the ordinance will move to the ballot in November for a public vote.
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