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New protections for renters likely coming in St. Petersburg

Posted at 6:06 AM, Mar 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-05 07:44:10-05

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — New protections are likely coming soon for renters in St. Petersburg.

City council members are looking to make changes to the city's code that would require landlords to give tenants at least 90 days notice if they need to evict them because the property is being developed.

This is part of a large-scale effort to help protect renters in St. Petersburg. City leaders are now tackling a variety of issues, including forcing landlords to inform tenants of their rights when they sign a lease, notifying them about any additional rent payments due or late fees and stopping housing discrimination based on income.

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This comes as a just cause eviction bill has been filed by Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez (D-Miami-Dade) and Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith (D-Orange), called SB 1852/HB 1449.

This legislation gives tenants basic rights necessary to combat predatory landlords taking advantage of a worsening displacement and affordability crisis. It would revise the definition of the term “tenant” and provide requirements for rental agreements, requiring landlords to provide certain information with rental agreements.

It would also prohibit a landlord from evicting a tenant or terminating a rental agreement because the tenant or the tenant’s minor child is a victim of actual or threatened domestic violence, dating violence, sexual violence or stalking, etc.

If it makes its way to the governor's desk and is signed, it would take effect in July 2020.