Orange County commissioners discuss ‘tenant bill of rights’ to combat rising rent

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Orange County commissioners are  proposing a new plan to tackle the rising rent in the City Beautiful. 

The Board recently voted to appeal a ruling blocking a recently passed rent control ordinance. That version of countywide rent control was put to voters on the recent midterm ballot and passed overwhelmingly. The result was immaterial, however, as a judge had already ruled the proposed ordinance unconstitutional.

Knowing that they can't exactly trust the courts, tenant advocates took matters into their own hands and proposed the draft ordinance “Tenant Bill of Rights” while the first rent control ordinance remains in limbo. 

The newly proposed bill aims to create a local housing office and calls for protections for renters such as requiring landlords provide tenants with a list of fees. In addition, it would call for a 60-day notice of any rent increases. It also forbids discrimination against potential renters and creates a new government office to investigate alleged violations. The board looked at a first draft of the proposed code on Tuesday, but will not be able to vote it into law until next year.

The City Beautiful has been hit particularly hard by the sort of housing problems seen throughout the nation. Even in a country that's seen spikes in rent from coast to coast, Orlando's relative increases in rent are among the highest in the nation since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.



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