‘In a community like this, we need that’: Alachua County Commissioners pass a program focused on tenant’s rights

Published: Sep. 14, 2022 at 6:17 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Alachua County Commissioners passed the Rental Permitting Program ordinance in a 4-to-1 vote.

Commissioner Raemi-Eagle Glenn, voted in dissent. With the new ordinance, renters must be given information about their rights.

“You have to pay all your rent. So to know all your rights, I think it’s just equal value,” stated tenant Vincett Thomas. ”I believe that’s what it’s worth for us.”

They said this can help young renters and college students be informed.

“A third party so they don’t fear any retaliation and just kind of help with delegating any issues that they might have,” said tenant Denise Thomas.

The motion requires Alachua County home and apartment rentals to receive mandatory health, safety, and energy-saving inspections.

Tenants hope that the costs of their utility bills will decrease now that landlords are required to meet those energy-efficient standards.

“I think having that energy sufficient will help lower the cost onto the tenants for the electric bill, because there are very outstanding electric bills within our community, unfortunately,” shares Denise.

Landlords will have to apply for a permit to rent their property and submit to inspections.

“They might not have an updated stove or an updated fridge, you know,” shared Vincett. “Or something like a dishwasher. All those appliances make the living experience wonderful.”

However, some landlords oppose the motion because they may have to spend more money.

“You’re not considering all the possibilities and a lot of the scenarios that you have as a landlord in this county,” stated Anthony Johnson.

Johnson said he may have to raise rental rates to compensate for the cost.

The assisting county manager, Missy Daniels, recommended that landlords begin getting permits in January of 2023.

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