New Requirements for Landlords Under Orange County Tenant’s Bill of Rights
On March 1, 2023, Orange County, Florida's Ordinance No. 2023-06 went into effect. The ordinance creates the new Office of Tenant Services and requires landlords to comply with new rules regarding notice requirements for rent increases and tenant fees, as well as provision of a Tenant’s Bill of Rights. It also implements additional fair housing requirements.
The Office of Tenant Services is a new division of the Planning, Environmental and Development Services Department of Orange County designed to assist both landlord and tenants in complying with the new ordinance and in resolving disputes between landlords and tenants.
The Office of Tenant Services publishes a Tenant’s Bill of Rights on their website, which can be found in English, Spanish, and Creole. The Tenant’s Bill of Rights provides tenants with a summary of many of their rights as a tenant under the ordinance and Florida statutes. Landlords in unincorporated Orange County are required to provide new and renewing tenants with a copy of the Tenant’s Bill of Rights prior to commencement of a rental term.
Landlords in unincorporated Orange County must also provide new and renewing tenants with a list of any and all tenant fees with specific notice requirements before the rental term begins. A landlord may not assess any unlisted fees against a tenant.
Similarly, the ordinance creates specific notice requirements for landlords regarding rent increases. All landlords located in Orange County, whether in an incorporated or unincorporated area, must meet specific notice requirements if the landlord is raising a tenant’s rent by more than five percent (5%).
Regarding fair housing, the ordinance adds some factors that cannot be taken into account in determining whether or not a landlord is willing to sell or rent a dwelling to a prospective tenant. In addition to previously existing factors, it is unlawful for landlords in unincorporated Orange County, after the making of a bona fide offer, to deny, refuse to negotiate, or otherwise make unavailable a dwelling to an individual based on the individual's lawful source of income or their actual or perceived status as a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking.
If your property may be affected by these changes, contact our experienced multifamily attorneys to learn more about your legal rights and obligations.
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