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After two years of COVID-induced lockdowns, moratoriums, and financial relief programs, both landlords and tenants are still trying to find their pre-pandemic footing. In the face of record inflation and unprecedented rent increases, populous urban counties like Miami-Dade are responding with a wide range of policies that will have major implications for owners and renters alike—one of which just came into effect this past Friday, March 25.

Learn how this new ordinance will affect you and how a Jurado & Associates Real Estate Attorney can help you adapt as seamlessly as possible. 

Background

Almost every new law, rule, or policy is best understood in its context, and the latest ordinance from Miami-Dade County is no exception. Close to half the county’s nearly 900,000 households are renting, making up a significant proportion of Florida’s 2.6 million tenants. With an average monthly rent of over $3,000, roughly half of all tenants are “cost burdened,” meaning they pay more than 30 percent of their income in rent—crowding out other necessities like healthcare, transportation, and even food. The COVID-19 pandemic—and the resulting influx of buyers and renters from other states—has further tightened this already expensive market, to say nothing of the overall increase in inflation. 

These factors explicitly form the basis of the new Miami-Dade County Ordinance that was signed last week by the county mayor after unanimous approval by the Board of County Commissioners. Referring to several high-profile cases of landlords raising rent by as much as 65 percent, the “Fair Notice Ordinance” aims to give tenants breathing room in the event they cannot afford higher rent. In doing so, it imposes new requirements on both owners and renters that must be understood clearly. 

Unpacking the Details

On its face, the new ordinance is fairly simple and straightforward: It requires residential landlords to give tenants at least 60 days’ written notice in two circumstances:

  1. Increasing rent by more than 5%.
  2. Terminating a month-to-month residential lease agreement.

Previously, landlords were required to give 30 days’ written notice for an eviction. The doubling of the notice requirement is designed to give tenants more time to make arrangements in an increasingly tight market. By the same token, tenants must also give 60 days’ written notice if they plan to terminate the lease, thereby allowing landlords to likewise find a replacement renter.

Legal Consequences

Having come into effect only this past Friday, the full scope of the Fair Notice Ordinance remains to be seen for some time. It applies to all residential landlords in Miami-Dade County, including both municipalities and unincorporated areas, and can only be enforced in court as a legal defense to eviction. 

Based on the language of the Fair Notice Ordinance, it may not apply to other types of lease agreements, such as week-to-week tenancies. The ordinance is also silent on what sort of penalties are imposed on landlords or tenants who violate the 60-day notice provision. Like many newly enacted rules and regulations, these questions will likely be answered over the course of court rulings and future ordinances.

In the meantime, however, it is strongly advised that landlords and tenants alike take note of these new requirements and avoid tempting fate. This includes taking into account the 60-day notice requirements in future lease agreements and in any rental plans. 

Work with Jurado & Associates, P.A. Today

Based in the dynamic real estate hub of South Florida, Jurado & Associates has plentiful experience in the complex and fast-changing world of Florida real estate. Our diverse and experienced team of Real Estate Lawyers has helped clients around the world navigate the myriad of challenges and risks that stand between them and their real estate goals. We stay up to date on the latest developments in local, state, and federal laws and how they impact our clients.

From first-time homebuyers and seasoned investors to residential and commercial renters, we serve all our varied clients with the same diligence, dedication, and attention to detail.

To learn more about our services, contact us at (305) 921-0976 or email info@juradolawfirm.com to schedule a consultation.

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