Osceola County delays tenant’s bill of rights, flood disclosure ordinance

Commissioners say the proposal was not ready for a discussion

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Commissioners in Osceola County tabled an ordinance calling for a tenant’s bill of rights and a flood disclosure requirement Monday, a move which cheered realtors.

The board voted unanimously to remove the item from the agenda and table it for a later date.

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“I would support delaying this as well; sounds like we have folks on kind of both ends of the table, but I think it would be worthwhile to have a sitdown or bring it at our workshop,” said newly-elected Vice Chair Cheryl Grieb.

Representatives from the Osceola County Association of Realtors said the measure was not ready for a formal discussion during the meeting which also saw representatives from Apartment Association of Greater Orlando and Florida Uprising.

“We feel it needs a lot of information, a lot of details need to be worked out before something is passed of this nature,” said Christie Artura-Vargas, a broker-owner for Central Florida Real Estate Management. ”I don’t think in any form or fashion this was ready to be put before to start the process of putting this as an ordinance.”

According to the proposal, the ordinance would create a tenant’s bill of rights to provide guidance regarding community resources and “protect residential tenants from discrimination and unfair and illegal rental practices.”

The ordinance would also require a seller or landlord to tell a tenant or buyer in writing that a property has experienced flooding.

The proposal comes after Hurricane Ian devastated resident communities across the county.

“I was concerned about it with this passing is specifically having Osceola County’s code enforcement involved trying to regulate these different tenant-landlord situations, because that is something that I don’t feel they’re well-versed and equipped to be able to handle,” Artura said. “I think the biggest challenge moving forward is to come up if they are going to try to put something in place that’s gonna satisfy all parties.”

The next meeting to discuss the proposal is Jan. 23 during a workshop where commissioners will discuss how they can improve this new legislation.

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