RPB Takes Action To Protect Renters Against Skyrocketing Housing Costs

The Village of Royal Palm Beach recently took a significant step to protect residents caught in the middle of unprecedented rent hikes.

The Royal Palm Beach Village Council voted Thursday, June 16 to require any residential landlord planning on raising rent by more than five percent to give tenants a minimum of 60 days’ notice before the increase takes effect. Previously, landlords were not required to give any notice before hiking rents.

“Housing costs have been skyrocketing. Too many of our residents are living in fear of losing their home due to unexpected rent increases,” Royal Palm Beach Mayor Fred Pinto said. “This will add a layer of protection by prohibiting residential landlords from significantly raising a tenant’s rent without giving the tenant time to figure out how to afford it.”

According to data from CoStar Group, a real estate information provider, rental rates in Palm Beach County in November 2021 increased 31 percent over the prior year. In addition, the Sun-Sentinel newspaper recently reported that renters are paying almost 20 percent more than they would under normal market conditions when a five percent increase is routine.

The ordinance change applies to residential leases that are either a specific duration (such as a year-long lease) or month-to-month leases. “Every day we wake up to unexpected gas price increases and unexpected grocery price increases. While it may be possible to quickly adjust family budgets to accommodate some of these price hikes, it’s almost impossible to absorb a dramatic unexpected hike in housing costs,” Pinto said. “That is exactly what this ordinance is intended to protect against.”

The ordinance took effect June 26.