Workshop to detail county’s rental permit program

Home repairs

Alachua County will host a workshop on Tuesday, Jan. 17, to detail its new Residential Rental Unit Ordinance passed in September 2022 and set to begin this year.  

In a press release, the county invited property owners and rental property managers to attend, and the meeting will also be viewable virtually on Cox Channel 12 or at the county’s website. The meeting takes place from 6-8 p.m. in the Jack Durrance Auditorium on the second floor of the county’s downtown administration building.  

The ordinance created a set of standards that rental units must meet in order to operate. However, the standards only apply to condominiums, co-ops, timeshares, quadruplexes, triplexes, duplexes, or single-family dwellings that are rented in whole or part. The program leaves out apartment complexes and Airbnb, VRBO and similar options.    

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County staff estimated 11,243 qualifying rental units reside in unincorporated Alachua County as of September 2022—spread across 10,189 properties with 8,574 owners. Currently, the program only includes units in unincorporated Alachua County.  

Starting Oct. 1, Alachua County will begin inspecting these units for compliance, mirroring Gainesville’s existing program. Landlords will need a permit to operate, and the county set a $122 permit fee.  

The county aims to crack down on substandard rental units through the program, checking items from plumbing in good working order to each window having screens (see a more extensive list below)  

By October 2026, the county will also require certain levels of energy efficiency to obtain a permit, mandating 1.6 gallon per flush toilets, low-flow showerheads and faucets and levels of insulated water lines.  

Gainesville landlords spoke against the city’s program that already enforces some of the energy efficiency guidelines.  

Partial county maintenance list:   

  • Foundation should be free of cracks and supporting the structure  
  • Structure should not have deterioration   
  • Free of insect and rodent infestation   
  • Exterior walls should be free of holes, cracks, rotting material  
  • Paint should not be peeling, flaking or chipped  
  • Exterior and interior stairs, porches, guard rails should be free of damage and secure  
  • Windows easily opened and capable of being held in position  
  • Exterior doors have working locks that secure the doors  
  • Windows have screens  
  • Bathroom in every dwelling unit  
  • Plumbing in good working order 

Some of the energy efficiency standards required by October 2026 include:  

  • All faucets must have aerators with a 2.2 gallon per minute (gal/min) flow rate or less, as evidenced by documentation maintained by the owner.   
  • All toilets must be 1.6 gallons per flush or less.   
  • Water heater(s) have a visible and properly functioning Temperature/Pressure Relief Valve (TPRV).   
  • Water heater pipes are insulated for the first 3 feet from the unit (except gas units) with appropriate commercially available insulation.   
  • All visible exterior water lines not in the enclosed space must be insulated with appropriate commercially available insulation.  
  • Fireplace chimneys have working dampers, doors, or closures.   
  • Plumbing system is free of leaks.   
  • All showerheads must be 2.2 gal/min flow rate or less, as evidenced by imprinting on the showerhead or documentation maintained by the owner. 

Check out Alachua County’s webpage about the rental program. 

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