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Hillsborough County Adds Protections For Residents Facing Evictions Or Rent Hikes

Residential landlords in unincorporated Hillsborough County will be required to give at least 60 days’ notice for rent increases higher than 5 percent and meet minimum notice requirements for terminating leases, after the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved changes Wednesday to the Tenant’s Bill of Rights ordinance.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. – Residential landlords in unincorporated Hillsborough County will be required to give at least 60 days’ notice for rent increases higher than 5 percent and meet minimum notice requirements for terminating leases, after the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved changes Wednesday to the Tenant’s Bill of Rights ordinance.

The additional provisions to the Tenant’s Bill of Right Ordinance expand the required notifications to include the following:

  • At least 30 days’ notice before termination of residential month-to-month leases
  • At least 60 days’ notice for the termination of all other residential leases, and
  • At least 60 days’ notice for residential rent increases of more than 5 percent for leases with a specific term.

The ordinance changes will be effective Aug. 8, with enforcement penalties for landlords starting on Oct. 1, 2022. Violation of the ordinance is punishable by a $500 fine for a first offense and any subsequent offenses.

The Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners first approved the Tenant’s Bill of Rights Ordinance in March 2021, with its provisions going into effect July 1 of that year. The ordinance requires landlords to provide new tenants and those renewing their lease a copy of the Tenant’s Bill of Rights and Resources.

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Among other provisions, the ordinance bans discrimination based on lawful income, requires written notice of each late fee, and prohibits retaliation for tenants who report a health or safety violation or file a Fair Housing complaint. 

Wednesday’s additions requiring notices before terminating leases or increasing rent by more than 5 percent were the first significant changes to the ordinance. The changes were designed to grant additional protection to residential tenants in unincorporated Hillsborough, thus providing more affordable housing opportunities and safeguards against homelessness.

Full details on Hillsborough County’s Tenant’s Bill of Rights Ordinance and how to report violations are available at HCFLGov.net/TenantRights

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