Update On Rent Control In Tampa & St. Petersburg
Tampa’s city council tasked the city’s staff to bring forward a rent control ordinance that would have restricted rent growth to the current Consumer Price Index (CPI). The city council, under a time constraint, quickly scheduled to have a first hearing on the rent control ordinance. During the hearing, city staff stressed that this type of regulation will not be beneficial for the citizens of Tampa or the greater area’s economy. It would likely lead the city into a legal battle, costing them time and money when their resources could be more useful for helping those most in need.
Members of the Bay Area Apartment Association (BAAA), and other independent landlords spoke out against the measure. Suppliers and property management professionals alike made it clear how rent control will affect the industry, and how the end result will probably harm those the ordinance intends to help the most. The members who spoke at the city council meeting were impactful, and the ordinance was defeated in a 4-2 vote. With the recent success in Tampa, the industry now turns to St. Petersburg, where the rent control debate continues.
Protestors recently held a “sleep in” at city hall calling for the council to vote on a similar ordinance compared to the ones seen in Orange County and Tampa. Thursday, August 4th the St. Petersburg city council voted 4-3 requiring city staff to draft a rent control ordinance, prepare ballot language, and a resolution to declare a housing emergency. The council is scheduled to discuss the rent control ordinance on Thursday, August 11th. During that meeting, the council will vote on whether to send rent control to the November Ballot. The Florida Apartment Association (FAA) is working closely with BAAA to oppose rent control in St. Petersburg, and FAA will continue to keep members informed on developments as they arise.