How Much Can A Landlord Raise The Rent in Florida?
Renting a home or apartment is usually a hassle-free way to get a roof over your head, but that’s not always the case.
Rent increases are generally regulated by state law, and in some states, you can’t increase rent more than once per year.
Some states don’t allow rent increases at all.
If you want to know the rules of your state’s rent laws, you’ll need to check with your local housing authority or rental property manager.
In this article, we’ll look at some rules for rent increases in Florida and how you can protect yourself from being overcharged.
What is the Rent Increase Limit in Florida?
The Florida statute on rent control (Fla. Stat. § 83 .51) sets the maximum amount that landlords can increase the rent each year in Florida.
Usually, it’s based on “the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U).”
The CPI-U is a composite of prices in urban areas across the country, considering things like food, electricity, gasoline, rents, and other prices.
Here is an example of how the statute might affect rent increases:
- An apartment rents for $1,000 per month in January, and the landlord applies for an increase of $10 per month in February.
- The CPI-U number for February is 108; 10% of 108 is 8.
- The maximum annual rent increase allowed by law is 8% of the CPI-U number, or $8 per month ($8 × 1/12).
- If the CPI-U number in your area differs from 108, you’ll have to check with your local housing authority or rental property manager for current laws regarding rent increases.
What is the Maximum Rent Increase Allowed by Law?
Your state’s rent laws may set a higher maximum rent increase, but they are unlikely to be as strict as Florida’s laws. Here are some general rules to know:
If there is a cap on allowable rent increases in your state, the landlord must follow that cap even if it would cause more significant financial hardship for the tenant. This is called “rent escrow.”
Landlords cannot raise the rent on a lease more than once per year unless it’s a year-to-year lease.
The rental property manager/housing authority may limit how much a landlord can raise the rent on existing tenants and how much they can ask from new tenants. These limits may be stricter than Florida’s limits.
Can a Landlord Raise the Rent On a Month-To-Month Lease by More Than 10%?
Florida requires landlords to give tenants 30 days’ notice before raising rents by more than 10%.
If your lease has a “one-time only” date of expiration, after which you can no longer raise rents, then there is no limit on how high you can go.
However, if your lease says you may never increase rents when it expires, you can only raise rents if you remain in possession of the property.
What if a Tenant Refuses to Pay the Increased Rent?
A tenant who refuses to pay a rent increase or breaks their lease agreement by moving out without proper notice (30 days’ notice) may be evicted for nonpayment.
If you feel that your landlord has violated your rights as a tenant under Florida law, you should contact your local housing authority or private attorney.
How Can a Landlord Increase the Rent On a Lease?
Florida law requires landlords to notify tenants of any proposed change to their lease agreement before doing so.
This way, tenants will have time to object and renegotiate before agreeing to new terms.
If you disagree with your landlord’s proposal, you can return to court and ask them to rewrite your lease agreement under Florida law.
You should also be aware that to avoid threats by your landlord to raise your monthly payments above market rates, your tenancy agreement should spell out precisely what additional fees you are paying for things like property management and maintenance.
How Can a Tenant Stop a Rent Increase?
You should be able to stop any types of major changes to your rental agreement even if you have already signed it.
Unfortunately, this means that while you can’t stop your landlord from raising your monthly payment, you might be able to stop certain types of fees that aren’t related to raising your payment.
For instance, if your lease agreement says that you have to pay extra fees for trash pickup because of “insufficient service,” it’s probably reasonable for your landlord to charge those fees, even if they’re unrelated to raising your payment.
How Do I Know What Kind of Housing I’m Renting?
Knowing where you live will help you avoid problems with landlords trying to charge you extra fees or illegally increasing rent.
There are several ways to find out where your rental property is located.
One way is to use online services such as Realtor.com or search through public records on the local county’s website.
Another way is to try contacting neighbors directly or calling local housing authorities or newspapers.
It’s essential to know your rights and what’s within the legal limits regarding how much a landlord can raise the rent for an apartment in Florida.
There is no one-size fits all advice for these types of situations, and what’s normal can vary from market to market.
For additional information on Florida real estate, check out more on GatorRated.com.