New ordinance aimed at protecting tenants and landlords, 'Rent it Right' launches August 1

Posted at 6:40 PM, Aug 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-03 20:43:34-04

Stefani Aguis and Shannon Walsh hope to own one day. However, just starting out in their careers, they rent a home for now -- and they are not alone.

"I know that there are a lot young people in college; they're looking for places to rent," said Aguis.

City of Tampa officials said a booming population and housing demand propelled them to keep better track of rental properties.

"It is holding the property owner accountable for the condition of the property, and that's what we want," said Sal Ruggiero, spokesperson for the City of Tampa.

He said code enforcement fielded dozens of complaints monthly, and the old process took time and money.


Now anyone who rents out their property must register online here. There's no fee for the 'Rent it Right' registration, but it's mandatory. City officials are giving people six months, and non-compliance could mean fees or worse. Fees for being non-compliant start at $75.

"Having that information it will speed up the investigation," said Ruggiero.

The website also lists all the codes and ordinances, but not everybody is sold.

"I think the city is getting too involved," said Tim Hileman.

Hileman rented for years, and now he's a landlord. News that he has to comply or face fines doesn't sit well.

"I guess I have no choice, but I feel I have control of my tenants, " said Hiileman.

Ruggerios said the program protects both tenants and landlords. The landlords can also list their expectations from tenants.

"Some areas could become blighted, and that's not good for the neighborhood crime rate," he said.