Rental prices are rising across the country and in Florida. In every rental class, from small campus-adjacent apartments to large waterfront houses, rental rates are increasing, and tenants are ready to pay. As a landlord or property manager, you may be tempted to take advantage and raise your rates competitively. Still, there are some considerations to make to ensure you don't run into legal troubles or out-price the local market.
Florida Laws Regarding Rent Increase
Florida does not have rent control laws statewide, nor do most cities within Florida. However, there are specific regulations regarding rent increase notice and timing that you need to follow to avoid legal trouble and reputation damage.
In most counties in Florida, landlords may not raise rent within the lease term unless the lease has specific provisions to account for rent increases. If there is no written provision, landlords may not raise the rent price mid-lease for any reason. Even landlords who add language in their lease to raise rents mid-lease do not typically do so.
In addition to waiting until the end of the lease, landlords must provide adequate notice (typically one payment ahead) before changing the rental price. For example, a tenant with a week-to-week lease must be notified seven days in advance before their rental rate is changed. Other notice requirements in Florida include:
- 7-day notice for a week-to-week lease
- 15-day notice for month-to-month
- 30-day notice for quarter-to-quarter
- 60-day notice for year-to-year
These notices follow the same timeline for eviction notches, and like evictions, they must be delivered in person or by mail. Rent increases may never be used as a form of discrimination or in retaliation to problem tenants.
Is there a Rent Increase Limit?
The state of Florida does not limit the percentage or frequency of rent increases for any private rental property. However, some cities are imposing caps on rent increases or extended notice periods for rent increases as renting becomes increasingly more expensive in South Florida. These caps are not intended to control rental prices, but to ensure that tenants receive adequate notice of rental increases out of their budget.
Miami-Dade County was one of the first Florida counties to extend the notice period for renters, requiring a 60-day notice for any rent increase of five percent or more. This applied not only to year-to-year increases but to all leases. This measure is helping tenants transition to more affordable housing more easily when necessary and ensures rates stay competitively priced for all income groups across Miami-Dade county.
Cities leading in Rental Price Increases in 2022
Miami made these changes in early 2022 after topping the charts with the nation's highest housing cost increase for the year. Both Miami and Orlando have some of the highest rental and housing market increases across all 50 states, which is causing problems for mid-and low-income families whose income has not changed.
Miami had the highest increase in 2022, with an average of a 38% increase in housing/rental prices in 2022 alone. Orlando came in second with a nearly 20% increase for the year, which is still 7% higher than the national average. This comes as no surprise to Florida natives, who have seen an influx of new residents coming from out of state. However, the closing supply has caused problems for renters who cannot afford a 20-30% increase in their rental rate.
With inflation at its highest in over 40 years, many Florida counties and municipalities are looking at options to ensure natives aren't driven out of their homes in favor of wealthy out-of-state renters. However, few counties have taken steps like Miami-Dade to protect its citizens from overly high rental increases.
Can Cities Impose Rent Control?
Part of the reason that rental rates are rising so quickly is that the Florida legislature protects landlords almost exclusively in terms of rent control. Local governments are only allowed to impose rent control measures if they can prove that there is a sufficient housing crisis to create a public menace. Rates of homelessness and housing insecurity must increase, and even then limitations are strictly watched by the state government.
Rent control ordinances at the local level must be taken to a public vote and automatically expire after one year with no option to extend. If the municipality or county wants to extend the rent control ordinance, they must create a new one and put it to vote a second time. This protects landlords from rent control measures that hurt profit margins and fair competition within the local area.
How This Affects Your Pricing Strategy
Because Florida has landlord-favorable legislation surrounding rent control, you are able to price your rentals competitively. As long as you provide adequate notice, you can set your rental rate however you choose as it fits to the local market. However, determining the right rent increase that meets demand is more difficult than some property managers expect.
If you are looking for the right information to price your rental competitively while attracting your ideal clientele, try our rent estimate tool. This price comparison will show you what other similar rentals in your area are charging, and which are most successful. RentSpree makes it easy for you to price your rental according to market trends and location, all with just one click.