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Orange County Commissioners Pass Rental Notices Ordinance, Still Working on Rent Stabilization

July 27, 2022

Rebecca Wilson | Jake Herrel

Update: Ordinance 2022-27, the Orange County Rental Notices Ordinance, was filed with the State and became effective on August 1, 2022.

On Tuesday, July 26, 2022, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners (“BCC”) voted unanimously to approve a new Rental Notices Ordinance aimed at protecting residential tenants. The new ordinance requires Orange County residential landlords to provide a 60-day written notice to tenants for any rent increases greater than 5%. The ordinance also provides certain protections for tenants and landlords who do not have a written lease agreement in place.

The new tenant-protection ordinance will be effective within 10 days of being filed with the Florida Department of State. Because it is unclear the exact date that the County will file the ordinance with the state, landlords in Orange County should plan to start issuing 60-day written notices for any rent increases greater than 5% starting now.

Orange County commissioners have not yet settled on language for a planned Rent Stabilization Ordinance, and a vote on the proposed rent control measure has yet to be scheduled. The proposed measure is expected to cap some rents in the county, but the reach and specifics of the measure are still being debated. A potential exception for new apartments, the effective date of the ordinance, the specific proposed limit on rent increases and the county’s oversight role are all still being discussed.

Any rent control measure would need to be approved by voters. The commissioners face an August 23rd deadline in order to get the proposed Rent Stabilization Ordinance on the November ballot. When asked about the rent control proposal, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said, “We're listening to both sides of the equation — the tenants and the landlords — and we will come up with something that will be balanced.” The County is expected to present a draft of the planned Rent Stabilization Ordinance in the coming weeks.

We will continue to follow this developing situation. If you have questions about how the proposed Orange County rent control measure may impact you or your business, reach out to one of the experienced real estate attorneys at Lowndes law firm.

This article is informational only. You should consult an attorney before acting or failing to act. The law may change rapidly and no warranty is given. LOWNDES DISCLAIMS ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES AND WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY WARRANTY OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. ALL ARTICLES ARE PROVIDED AS IS AND WITH ALL FAULTS. Consult a Lowndes attorney if you wish to establish an attorney/client relationship.

Becky  Wilson is chair of the firm's Land Use, Zoning and Environmental Group. She represents property owners, developers, lenders and other development participants with issues related to zoning, comprehensive plans, concurrency, administrative law, Developments of Regional Impact (DRI’s), procurement issues, due diligence and property rights.

As early as sixth grade, Becky advocated for the causes she believed in. Her concern about nuclear waste and water contamination in her hometown of Dothan, Alabama – and her thorough research – promoted her to press a state legislator with questions in the school auditorium. Having grown up in the South, Becky got in trouble for questioning authority – yet that life experience served her well.

After clerking for a federal judge in Washington, D.C., Becky landed in Orlando, quickly building a reputation at Lowndes for being thorough, outspoken, and a tireless advocate for clients. She ultimately found her niche in land use, collaborating with architects, transportation engineers and local governments to move her clients’ projects – and Central Florida – forward. Becky became one of the youngest female shareholders at the firm. Today, she is Chair of the Land Use, Zoning and Environmental Group.

Her clients include property owners, developers, lenders and other participants in the development of high-rise, hotels, planned communities, large “power-centers,” mixed-use projects, office buildings and big box commercial projects, projects within historic districts, multi-family developments, senior living, and affordable housing. Becky works closely with the local government entities to address the needs of her clients related to zoning, comprehensive plans, concurrency, administrative lawDevelopments of Regional Impact (DRI’s), procurement issues, due diligence, and property rights.

Undoubtedly, Becky’s diligence, activism and Southern charm were responsible in part for her appointment as chair of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) of Central Florida District Council, a global multidisciplinary real estate organization with more than 40,000 members dedicated to the responsible use of land, and creating and sustaining thriving communities.

Jake Herrel is an attorney practicing in the firm’s Land Use, Zoning and Environmental Group. He specializes in guiding clients through the sometimes-confusing process of land development, assisting with obtaining entitlements and permit approvals for a wide range of real estate projects, including major commercial, residential, and mixed-use developments. Jake also assists with complex negotiations, hospitality and business matters.

Jake comes to the firm by way of Texas, and like any true Texan, Jake is a straight shooter when it comes to providing his clients with the information they need, when they need it, in order to maximize their investments. Jake places a special focus on understanding his client’s objectives and motivations, both long-term and short-term, and he prides himself on being able to help clients develop even the wildest plans from concept to buildout.

Jake earned his bachelor’s degree in government with honors from The University of Texas at Austin and his law degree from The University of Texas School of Law. While in law school, Jake garnered a reputation as an accomplished negotiator, having successfully represented multiple pro bono clients at mediations and securing one of the largest Texas special education settlements in history. He also served as president of the Texas Real Estate Law Society and coached the Phi Delta Phi undergraduate mock trial team in his spare time. Jake counseled business and nonprofit clients as a part of the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic, and he was selected as a prestigious Mithoff Pro Bono Scholar. Jake served as both executive articles editor of the Texas Intellectual Property Law Journal and executive editor of the Texas Review of Entertainment & Sports Law.

Prior to joining Lowndes as an attorney, Jake was a summer clerk with the firm. During law school, he worked as a legal intern for a large, national insurance company and as an intern for the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Texas.

Jake currently serves as treasurer of the Orange County Bar Association’s Real Property Committee. When not practicing law, Jake enjoys traveling with his wife, golf, fishing, and supporting the arts in and around Orlando.

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