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Tenant's Bill of Rights (5/3/22) | Supporting

Full text of the legislative item.

Answer

This legislation would create the Tenant’s Bill of Rights. It would create the Housing Advocacy Department, establish what unlawful practices are, and provide for tenants notice of their rights, helpline, and website.

It would also provide protections for withholding rent to pay for neglected repairs.

  • Existing Florida Law
    • Tenants can withhold rent if a landlord fails to make a unit liveable. 
  • New County Law
    • Tenants are allowed to deduct the costs of neglected repairs from a monthly rent bill
      • Requires a tenant to give the landlord seven days to fix the alleged defect of the unit, and obtain two estimates before paying for the repairs. 

Preventing Discrimination based on past Evictions

While landlords can still research for past evictions the Tenant's Bill of Rights prohibits blanket questions about evictions during the application process. Past evictions should not be a barrier to housing. 

Establishing the County Office of Tenant Advocate

The Office of Tenant Advocate is responsible for overseeing compliance with tenants' rules and answering questions from tenants and landlords about the new law. 

  • New County Law 
    • Requires Miami-Dade to create a telephone helpline for tenants seeking assistance. 

Requires landlords to notify tenants of a new owner

The Tenant's Bill of Rights mandates that landlords notify tenants at closing that a sale of their home had occurred and identified a new landlord. 

Protecting tenants from retaliation if they seek government help from a landlord. 

The Tenant's Bill of rights gives tenants legal grounds to claim retaliation if a landlord pursues an eviction for no apparent reason other than the tenant calling the helpline within the last 60 days.