The causes are obvious. I’ve been warning of this for more than a year. The eviction moratorium was killing landlords. Many landlords are leaving the business, while tons of northerners are moving to Florida in a bid to escape the increasingly socialist policies up north. This is increasing home prices, so many rentals are now being sold. Taxes and insurance rates are climbing.
On top of that, there is inflation to deal with. Florida minimum wage just increased 17 percent over the 2020 rate. The increased costs, increased risk, increased demand, and falling supply has combined with record inflation to put a lot of upward pressure on rental prices.
Tampa has decided that they are going to do an end run: a voter referendum declaring a housing emergency and enacting rent control. This will be the Democrat issue for the 2022 election. Expect a State constitutional amendment on the ballot for rent control.
If rent control is enacted, there are steps I can take: Each year, I will raise rents by the highest permitted under the new law. On top of that:
- I will no longer provide lawn service as a part of rent. That will shift $900 a year of expense to the tenant.
- I will no longer provide a free washer and dryer. I will recommend a company that will rent the tenant one at an additional cost, if they don’t have one. That company will be owned by me. The going rate for that is $144 a month.
- I currently pressure wash the outside of the property twice a year. I can push that off to the tenant, and make it their responsibility as a part of cleaning.
There are many ways that I can maintain profitability. Just taking the three steps above will have the effect of increasing the cost of renting by 15 percent without increasing the rent itself.
Landlords will have to be creative.