ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — In a 5-2 vote, local leaders passed a “Tenants Bill of Rights” Tuesday in Pinellas County, a county spokesperson confirmed.
The Pinellas County Commission’s ordinance means landlords will soon be mandated to give 60 days’ notice when raising rent more than 5 percent in an annual lease renewal. There will be a 30-day required notice for leases that are 3-12 months in length. Tenants in month-to-month living situations have the right to 15 days’ notice.
Scheduled to go into effect on Oct. 3, the ordinance also lays out late fee notification requirements and prohibits discrimination against tenants using government housing vouchers.
Cities within the county can make their own decisions about this Bill of Rights and choose to opt out. But, the concept isn't entirely new to the area. St. Pete already has a “Tenants Bill of Rights” – which took effect in 2020.
The Tampa Bay Times noted a key difference between the city and county versions, writing that St. Pete’s ordinance lets landlords say no to vouchers if the government aid would raise their insurance rates. A county spokesperson confirmed to 10 Tampa Bay that Pinellas’ “Tenants Bill of Rights” does not have such an exception.
As a county official explained to the newspaper, Pinellas County determined it would be tough to verify claims about insurance impacts and such a policy might ultimately undermine the anti-discrimination goals of the county's measure.