The Tenants Bill of Rights provides more protection for renters in Miami and is now effective with little resources accesible to educate uninformed landlords and tenants
As South Florida is embroiled in the country’s worst housing crisis, Miami-Dade County mayor, Daniella Levine Cava, has decided to step up to the plate and take action. On May 3rd, 2022 the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a Tenants’ Bill of Rights that would help alleviate some of the pressure on renters.
On May 13, 2022, the same day the Tenants Bill of Rights became effective a letter was sent to the County Mayor, the Office of Housing Advocacy, the County Attorney’s Office, and the Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners by MIAMI REALTORS®. It stated on behalf of its 60,000 Realtors that there are many concerns that have not been addressed on the now effective Tenants Bill of Rights.
How landlords are left unprotected
- The County’s own non-compliance with its own Tenants’ Bill of Rights Sec. 17-166(2) or Sec. 17-169 before making it effective and exposing landlords to potential law suits.
- There are no forms or documents for landlords or tenants in the Office of Housing Advocacy’s website. to educate violation of Sect. 17-169(3).
- Because of how fast the ordinance passed, there is no plan to educate the public
They feel that the County has not complied with all of its obligations under the new Tenants Bill of Rights. By making it effective before providing the resources and tools needed both by landlords and tenants that are depending on the County for it.
An outline of the Tenants Bill of Rights
The Tenants Bill of Rights is designed to relieve local renters and tenants as rents seem to increase unchecked. They are going up in the double digits, forcing many people out of their homes and spaces with no cap in sight. South Florida is struggling to regulate rents, and rent control is an unlikely possibility at the moment.
It covers a few different areas and aspects of tenant protection, including:
- Tenants will be able to deduct costs of neglected repairs from the rent.
- Prevent landlords from inquiring about tenants regarding previous evictions.
- Set up the office of housing advocacy.
- Make it necessary for landlords to tell tenants about new owners.
- Protect tenants who seek government help against their landlord.
The importance of having this protection
Both the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners and MIAMI REALTORS® share the same goal in creating the Tenants Bill of Rights and in creating housing stability in Miami-Dade County. They both feel the Tenants Bill of Rights will help bridge existing gaps and issues that are affecting local renters by giving them a sense of security and increasing accountability for landlords.
Other measures have also been taken in recent months, including requiring landlords to provide adequate notice of rent increases above 5%, but they’re falling short of addressing the issue. MIAMI REALTORS® feels the bill is part of the solution but that it was made effective too fast. Educating the community is part of the bill that is effective but where is the education? They feel it will inevitably lead to unnecessary lawsuits at the landlords expense which in turn will cause more strain on a housing crisis that needs all the help it can get.
It’s been reported that rents in Miami have gone up by roughly 40%, with residents seeing their rents double or triple in amount. These measures won’t cap rent increases and escalations, but they will buy some time while the county develops more affordable housing and sustainable measures.
The housing crisis is affecting thousands of people as Florida continues to become increasingly unaffordable. You can learn more about current affairs and economic conditions. Subscribe to our news publication for news, events, and a lot of other information.