TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa remains in an affordable housing crisis, according to the data contained in a recent report by Zumper, an apartment-finder website.
The average monthly rent in Tampa climbed 32.8% year over year. An average one-bedroom apartment in Tampa now costs about $1,580 a month to rent.
Bill Carlson, who represents District 4 on the Tampa City Council has heard the horror stories.
“We hear that there are rate increases as much as 40-50% in some areas,” the councilman said. “We have lots of feedback from folks that their rents are going up way too much, beyond what wages are supporting, and so people are concerned that they can’t afford their rent anymore.”
So, Carlson drafted an ordinance that would give Tampa renters more notice before a rent hike greater than 5%. Thursday, council members voted unanimously to move the idea to a second hearing on May 19th when it could be given final approval.
According to the ordinance, landlords would need to give tenants notice of at least 60 days before enacting a rent increase. The protection would not apply to “short-term rentals with non-recurring rental terms of thirty days or less.”
Carlson originally studied giving renters a six-month notice but found out that state law would not allow it.
However, he thinks 60 days is a decent compromise that should give Tampa renters a bit more heads-up.
“Because there’s no inventory, and people can’t quickly scramble to find a new place to live, so at least it’ll provide a slight cushion,” he said.
If the plan is passed, landlords who violate it could face a $450 fine.
Carlson thinks the plan will get the council’s support. He also thinks landlords and realtors will be on-board.
In a recent letter, Greater Tampa Realtors described the plan as “workable.”
Carlson’s ordinance also gives month-to-month renters more protection from sudden eviction. According to the ordinance, such a lease “may only be terminated by either the landlord or tenant by giving not less than thirty days’ notice written prior to the end of any monthly period.” Right now, only a 15-day notice is required.