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Orange County officials approve renters’ rights

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On Tuesday, Orange County leaders approved a measure that increases protections for renters. County commissioners unanimously passed the tenants’ bill. Mayor Jerry Demings said he is excited about the move. According to Chief Planner Amy Michaels, Orange County will become the second county in Florida to create a specific office designed to help tenants work with landlords after Miami-Dade County. The last time managers looked at the Tenancy Act was in November. Since then, there have been three main changes that commissioners approved Tuesday: Orange County requires landlords to provide a list of all the fees tenants must pay upfront. These fees cannot be changed during the duration of the lease. Orange County prohibits landlords from discriminating against people based on where their rent money comes from, as long as it’s legal, and that includes Section 8 vouchers. Orange County prohibits landlords from discriminating against tenants who are victims of domestic violence, dating violence or stalking. Tenant’s rights will be enforced through civil citation. The county will immediately begin setting up the new office. “We found that many of the residents of Orange County did not know what their legal rights were under Florida law. So this will give them a place to contact and we will be able to explain what their rights are, and try to help them with resources that we can get them,” Michaels said. The new county office will open March 1 and will start with four employees. Michael described it as a “one-stop shop for tenants and landlords ” because the county will provide services to both. “We will be able to provide services such as if they need rental assistance, if they need any type of education, legal assistance. We have our partner the Legal Aid Society. We have a contract with them so if they are in the eviction process we will be able to refer them to the Legal Aid Society for help,” she said. “But the main purpose will be outreach and education. We need to get to the residents and citizens before they get to the eviction process.” Michael added that they want tenants to know they can call for help when the office opens. “They don’t have to be afraid to call us. If there are problems with building maintenance. Any kind of violation of the lease or the laws, they can contact us and we can do the investigations for that,” she said. accused of killing husband at Daytona Beach hospital Central Florida educators react to Gov. DeSantis’ teachers’ bill of rights

On Tuesday, Orange County leaders approved a measure that increases protections for renters. County commissioners unanimously passed the tenant law.

Mayor Jerry Demings said he is excited about the move.

According to chief planner Amy Michaels, Orange County will become the second county in Florida to create a specific office designed to help renters work with landlords after Miami-Dade County.

The last time leaders looked at the Tenancy Act was in November. Since then, there have been three main changes that commissioners approved Tuesday:

  1. Orange County requires landlords to provide a list of all fees tenants must pay in advance. These fees cannot be changed during the tenancy.
  2. Orange County prohibits landlords from discriminating against people based on where their rent money comes from, as long as it’s legal, and that includes Section 8 vouchers.
  3. Orange County prohibits landlords from discriminating against tenants who are victims of domestic violence, dating violence or stalking.

The tenant rights declaration will be enforced through civil citation. The county must immediately set about establishing the new office.

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“We found that many of the residents of Orange County did not know what their legal rights were under Florida law. So this will give them a place to contact and we will be able to explain what their rights are , and try to help them with resources that we can give them, Michaels said.

The new county office will open on March 1 and will start with four employees.

Michaels described it as a “one-stop shop for tenants and landlords” because the county will provide services to both.

“We will be able to provide services such as if they need rental assistance, if they need any kind of training, legal aid. We have our partner the Legal Aid Society. We have a contract with them so if they are in the eviction process, we’ll be able to refer them to the Legal Aid Society for help,” she said. “But the main goal will be outreach and education. We need to reach the residents and citizens before they get to the eviction process .”

Michaels added that they want tenants to know they can call for help when the office opens.

“They don’t need to be afraid to call us. If there are problems with building maintenance. Any kind of violation of the lease or the laws, they can contact us and we can do the investigations for that,” she said.

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