TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Affordable housing is still a top priority for some city leaders in the Tampa Bay area who believe they have at least one solution to a growing issue.
On Thursday, the Tampa City council had its first reading of an ordinance that will change the current Renters Bill of Rights.
The ordinance will require renters to give tenants a 60-day notice if their rent costs go up. Renters under a month-to-month lease will get a 30-day notice. The purpose of the requirement is to give tenants a heads up about rent increases.
“By state law, we can’t have a six-month notice period,” Councilmember Bill Carlson said. “We did attempt not just a 90-day notice but a six=month notice period, but it seems like the most we can do is 60 days.”
Councilman Carlson introduced the idea after months of public debates regarding the housing crisis.
Robin Lockett with Florida Rising, stepped forward Thursday to show her support for the ordinance. She wants the council to reconsider the longer time frame.
“I love the six-month but we’re pushing for 90 [days],” Lockett said.
She added that a 60-day notice is not enough time for renters to consider their options.
“I have to go through the process of trying to figure out where I’m going to move. Try to figure out what I can afford. Pay application fees. Setting up a deposit while still paying my rent.”
On the other hand, Russ Webb with the Bay Area Apartment Association in Greater Tampa Bay said the ordinance is unnecessary altogether.
“With current industry practices under the state law, most residences with leases receive their lease renewal offers, which include implacable rent increases, between 45 and 75 days before they end their lease term,” he said.
Tampa City Council moved forward with scheduling the second reading of the ordinance in May. During their workshop on May 26, the counsil will ask the public to bring ideas on ways to solve the crisis.