Tampa City Council Adopts Rent Notice Measures Without BAAA Suggestions
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tampa, May 19, 2022 – Today, Tampa City Council voted unanimously to adopt an ordinance that provides new notice requirements for leases. Specifically, the ordinance will require landlords to provide a written 60-day notice for rent increases of more than 5% for lease agreements with a specific term. Additionally, for month-to-month leases, the ordinance will require tenants and landlords to provide written 30-day notice before the end of the rental period to terminate the lease. Violation of the ordinance will result in a $450 fine.
In response to the ordinance, the Bay Area Apartment Association (BAAA) sent THIS LETTER to City Council, noting that State law and industry practice already give residents with leases notice of rent increases that are close to or at 60 days. Further, the letter lays out various changes BAAA asked City Council to consider. These include:
- Limiting application of the rent increase notice to leases going forward;
- Excluding any lease agreements that involved Federal programs that may have their own notice requirements and processes;
- Removing fines for noncompliance, since courts will bar enforcement of any actions stemming from improper notice, which is more than sufficient penalty;
- Moving the notice requirement for month-to-month leases to 21 days before the end of the rental period, instead of 30 days, in order to preserve the ability for parties to end the lease in the current month.
“We are disappointed that City Council chose not to adopt any of the suggestions we put forward” said Eric Garduño, Government Affairs Director for the Bay Area Apartment Association, who spoke at the public hearing. “These were all common sense and reasonable suggestions that unfortunately fell on deaf ears.”
Particularly troubling is that the ordinance upends the whole point of Florida’s month-to-month lease. Florida Statute gives landlords and tenants the ability to end a month-to-month lease through written notice 15 days before the end of the monthly period. This flexibility is key to residents who are searching for a home, or others in a similar temporary situation. Because the ordinance pushes notice to 30 days, residents will have little to no window to provide the required written notice in the current month, forcing them to tack on an extra month’s rent.
“A number of my members have shared with me that they regularly have residents request month-to-month leases,” Mr. Garduño continued “and I feel very bad for these folks who think they have a monthly lease and now, because of this ordinance, are going to be saddled with an extra month if they miss the tiny window for notice this ordinance provides.”