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.