BOCC ends rental permit program prior to start 

Rental home

The Alachua County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) voted to suspend its rental permit program on Tuesday since the Florida Legislature passed a law that prevents cities and counties from interfering with landlord and tenant contracts.  

The vote follows an identical decision by the Gainesville City Commission last week. Gainesville started its program in October 2021, and Alachua County borrowed elements to begin its own program, scheduled to start this October. However, with the state preemption, the BOCC program will have never lifted off the ground.  

Alachua County Commissioner Mary Alford
Courtesy of Alachua County Mary Alford

Tuesday’s multipart motion directed staff to suspend the program, bring back a full repeal ordinance, reimburse landlords who had already paid the fee and examine ways to incorporate elements from the rental program into the county’s code of ordinances.  

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“It’s not like we have a lot of options,” Chair Anna Prizzia said. “It’s disappointing because I know our staff did a lot of work on this, we really appreciated all the diligence and the hard work that was put into this program to make it the best it could be for our renters.”   

Commissioner Mary Alford made the motion and also suggested that staff examine how other counties with rental permit ordinances will transition.  

Gainesville and Alachua County landlords spoke against the county implementing the program last year, with a group of around 70 retaining an attorney. The local governments called the program a way to crack down on substandard housing while landlords said the program encroached on their rights and would hurt renters as well.  

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Gainesville Dad

This program was a textbook case of government overreach with predictable unintended negative consequences. No doubt there are some pretty shoddy rental units out there, but they normally have a low cost to match. Low income people live in those places because that’s what they can afford.

It does not take a genius to figure out that any fee, tax, or expense that local government imposes on landlords is always passed on 100% to their tenants–always. So all this emotion-driven, “feel-good” ordinance did was to immediately drive up rents for the county’s poorest citizens, before any of the actual repairs or improvements were even put in place.

Now that county and city commissioners have had their ordinances invalidated, will the affected rents immediately come back down? Not a chance. So congratulations to Mary Alford and the rest of the Alachua County Commission–you screwed over the poorest citizens in the county and ultimately increased their misery, took food out of their children’s mouths, put some of them out on the street, etc., just so you would have something to brag about with your fellow liberals at the next socialist book club meeting.

Personally I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night, but I’m sure Mary and her cronies won’t lose a moment of sleep over it.

Les Smith

“[T]he Florida Legislature passed a law that prevents cities and counties from interfering with landlord and tenant contracts”: another example of the state usurping local control of local matters. Shades of 1917-1927 Russia!

Last edited 11 months ago by Les Smith
Jeff Gehmann

Not by a long shot. Every state has rules and various powers written into the state constitution. The state didn’t get its authority to take such actions from the Gainesville fiscal fiasco. This is just one example of exercising that authority the state has always had. Don’t use a basic utility monopoly (no other choices!) to fund your radical liberal agenda that has nothing to do with utility costs (particularly when you take MORE than all the profits. Insane greedy, inexperienced leadership. None of the 4 successful at anything not government.

Les Smith

If there really is a “textbook case of government overreach,” it is the legislature passing this bill and the governor signing it into law, not the city and the county trying to clean up shoddy, unsafe rentals. Welcome to the Florida Union of Soviet Socialist Cities and Counties!

Jeff Gehmann

Typical out of control DEC dem lib desire for control over your property, job, and life. The 4 nuts that gave them the idea in Gangsville are 3 now out of office (Poe, hayess, arreola) and the 4th, Ward, is flailing, waddling, and failing miserably as Mayor. At least he hasn’t been able to pass too much bad gov (except the expensive and crummy solar waste), like the ton of bad paper passed by Poe & his inexperienced clique followers that divided and almost bankrupted the city.

Pissed withA Mouth

As a tenant this has hurt my family & my Landlord financially.

We’ve been able to pay $1250 for a 3 bedroom 2 bath WITH LAND for the last 3 years, now thats freaking unheard of! My landlord is amazing & never has increased our rent, even during the pandemic. Now…. I’m freaking terrified she may have no choice, because if she does my family will be homeless again! Trying to find a rental in our price range is next to impossible!

With all these new *LAWS* she had to have people come do inspections & fix things that already work! Because the county is money hungry! If tenants have slum lords..they need to take it up in civil court & when they win have the slum lord pay court costs.

The Government needs to stay out of homeowners, Landlords, & Tenants BUSINESS!! They get their money every time at the beginning of the year. Stop taking from the poor and take from the rich!