In February, I posted that communists in Florida cities were pushing for rent control. The attempt in St Petersburg ultimately failed because commissioners realized that it likely won’t work. Even liberal Miami Dade will likely not move forward. All of that won’t stop other cities from trying, so now that trend has come to Orlando, with one Orange county (where Orlando is located) commissioner pushing for adding rent control to the upcoming ballot.

Her plan calls for a rent hike cap of 5% or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. That is pure horseshit. Right now, the official rate of inflation is 8.9%, but the real rate is probably at least double that. So let’s be kind and say that my costs as a landlord increase by 12%. I am going to be held to a 5% increase?

The good news here is that this is going to take some time because Florida law is pretty explicit. As a reminder, landlords in Florida can’t raise rent during the term of the lease. As an example, my tenants sign a lease for a year, and the rent is laid out in the lease. That is the amount they pay for that year. When the lease is up, we can negotiate for another year, but that deal is separate from the year before.

No, what the left is talking about doing is restricting the increase from one lease to the next. In order to restrict the rate increase of a new lease, Florida statute 125.0103 is pretty explicit. There are a number of steps that have to be followed. First, the city has to declare a housing emergency.

Such governing body makes and recites in such measure its findings establishing the existence in fact of a housing emergency so grave as to constitute a serious menace to the general public and that such controls are necessary and proper to eliminate such grave housing emergency.

Orlando hasn’t even done this yet. So the first thing that they need to do is declare a housing emergency. A vote on this won’t happen until early summer. That brings us to step two, which is that they have to put it on the ballot and get a majority of voters to approve it:

Such measure is approved by the voters in such municipality, county, or other entity of local government.

Now if this makes it to the ballot I am betting it will pass, for the simple reason that people will usually vote for free shit that has to be paid for by someone else. That means landlords. That this also likely means a collapse of housing prices in central Florida won’t dawn on the voters until after it passes.

After all of that, the rent control is only in effect for one year. Following that, the entire process has to be repeated. Even then, the rent control doesn’t apply to seasonal rentals or to “luxury rentals.” A luxury rental is defined as a rental that would have cost more than $250 in 1977. According to the US inflation calculator, that would today be a rent of $1,159.

All of this means that rent control likely won’t happen, but it doesn’t mean that the left won’t use it to get their freeloading base to the polls in November.

Categories: economics


Hedge · April 10, 2022 at 6:34 am

There are too many homes sitting empty. Too many renters that could be owners if it wasn’t so hard to get into houses. As an owner I don’t feel bad for landlords. I feel bad for the ones that work hard and can pay the stupid rent prices but can’t somehow qualify for a home used or new. It’s shameful.

    Divemedic · April 10, 2022 at 7:06 am

    The reason that they can’t qualify is usually because they don’t make wise financial decisions. That doesn’t make it OK to screw landlords. It isn’t my fault that you waste your money instead of saving for a down payment, can’t hold a job, or can’t manage your money.

    From your previous comments, I know that you grow weed in Oklahoma. Why don’t you sell your weed below cost so people can afford it? Or perhaps you can use the large profits you were bragging about to give away free houses to the poor.

    Don’t demand that landlords be the only ones to carry the load.

Elrod · April 10, 2022 at 8:47 am

“… a collapse of housing prices in central Florida won’t dawn on the voters until after it passes.”

There’s no question about the City of Orlando being Commie Central, it has been for quite some time, and the Bad Government Metastasis between Orlando and Orange County has long been legendary. But… Orange County (which is the not quite 800 lb gorilla among the Central Florida counties), Seminole County, Osceola County, Brevard County, and Lake County are all different jurisdictions, each with a unique governing board. It’s possible multiple jurisdictions may be so corrupted by the Left as to follow suit (I’m thinking Orange and Seminole in particular) but it may be performed sequentially rather than in parallel, giving voters in other counties time to see the disaster coming (granting more credit than is probably due for Orange County voters, but…).

I’m not as conversant in Florida property management law as you (I owned, not rented, and moved out 10 years ago), and since each annual lease is a unique event (assuming there’s no language in each year’s lease about “extending” or “renewal” to cloud the issue) property owners have some protection, at least until it’s discovered the language doesn’t work they way they have ordained and rewrites the ordnance.

As for total rental collapse, I’m wondering what protection against rent control may exist in the incorporated cities in Orange County (Windemere, Apopka, Winter Park, Oakton, Ocoee, etc.) to resist stupidity from the county.

Where is Blackrock et al in this? Are they buying up as much in Central Florida as they’re doing elsewhere?

Big Ruckus D · April 10, 2022 at 9:59 am

If I read this post correctly, anything over $1160/month places the property in the luxury class,thereby exempting it from this action. I gather the monthly rate for most – if not nearly all – places there is already over roughly $1200/month, but I’m not local and don’t know the market. However, if that’s true, then this measire is DOA. Until the fuckers lie and try to say the law doesn’t really say what it says (a favored tactic of leftists to ignore the law) to impose rent control measures regardless.

Eventually it just becomes easier to disappear the tenants – and the politicians – in the swamp, and then keep the properry unleased until the measure expires, to punish the market for its stupidty. Of course, with the trajectory we’re on, outright confiscation of property will be employed at some point. I hope the revolt starts long before that. Sounds like orlando really needs some culling done anyway, starting with disney staff perverts. Funny, they are exactly the kind to be renters, and bitch about the price, too.

Henry · April 10, 2022 at 10:34 am

Divemedic is spot on. The politician(s) behind rent control are willfully ignorant of both economics and history. There are numerous places in the US with rent control and all of them have suffered as a result because of the predictable consequences. The resulting problems, of course, then offer opportunities for the same politicians who caused them to then proclaim they will develop “solutions” to the housing crisis of their making. Rinse and repeat.

The Great Leap Wakanda · April 10, 2022 at 11:28 am

Orlando? Isn’t that the home of Groomerland or Disney?
Rent is a construct of the white male patriarchy and racist.
Be of good cheer, just read about a CPUSA democrat Long March comrade in the glorious people’s republic of California and a proposal allowing illegal aliens to become police officers.
Didn’t Hussein Hopenchange the Immaculate talk about a “civilian police force just as well funded as the military” back in Year Zero?

nick flandrey · April 11, 2022 at 12:37 am

Looks like they are moving forward from the Mar. 10 article anyway..

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava declared a state of emergency over housing affordability as rent continues to skyrocket on Friday.

“Over the last year, we have also become one of the most unaffordable regions in the country,” said Mayor Cava during her press conference.

“I’m putting together a plan called the Building Blocks program, and it will be as a first step. Today, we are announcing a new and additional $13 million into our emergency rental assistance program,” Cava added.

I’ll be looking for new tenants as soon as my current ones buy a house. Their lease converted to month to month, and they’ve told me they’re looking to buy, and their hoped for schedule.

I’ve been lucky in tenants. They stay for a few years, then leave naturally and without drama, paying their rent the whole time.Not everyone is so lucky, nor is there any guarantee I will be in the future.

It’s still a good part of our financial portfolio though, and likely will be for a while yet.

Elrod · April 11, 2022 at 5:53 am

Did you see the Volokh Conspiracy post linked by Instapundit this AM regarding Heights Apartments v. Walz ?
“Eighth Circuit Rules Eviction Moratoria are Likely to be Takings Requiring Compensation Under the Fifth Amendment”

No doubt this is headed to the Supremes; in the meantime, some brainless government drone (redundant) can issue an executive order to keep tenants in a property.

I thought this part is was significant: “According to Heights’ complaint, the EOs “turned every lease in Minnesota into an indefinite lease, terminable only at the option of the tenant.” Seems the 8th Circuit agreed. I wonder if the Supremes will also.

Jimmy · April 11, 2022 at 1:16 pm

Is there ANYTHING the govt. CAN’T screw up? Milton Friedman that said if the govt was put in charge of the Sahara desert they would run out of sand in 2 years…

The Freeholder · April 11, 2022 at 8:31 pm

Three month leases? Two month leases? Raise the rent the 5% every time.

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