JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – Dozens of households are contacting the News4JAX I-TEAM following an investigation into rising rents in Jacksonville.
Native tenants are complaining that they’re being squeezed financially as their condo complexes increase their lease.
On the identical time, they discover it tough to maneuver round as a result of the costs are excessive in every single place.
Many stated lease costs are increased than they will afford with their present incomes.
In accordance with the Florida Condo Affiliation, the typical month-to-month lease within the Jacksonville space has elevated from $1,125 in 2020 to $1,411 in 2022.
The group additionally reported that there have been fewer vacant residences in Jacksonville than previously and that restricted provide was driving up costs.
Jacksonville instructor and new mom Vanessa Baffour-Singletary is going through a $400 lease improve on her household’s two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo in Fort Caroline.
They have been paying $809 a month, however she confirmed a discover left on her door saying her lease can be elevated to $1,232 a month. She stated the managers then supplied a reduction of $1,150 per thirty days.
“Completely not,” she stated, telling News4JAX that she did not get what she paid for. “Particularly for somebody who’s been right here 10 years and paid their lease on time.”
She pointed to points within the unit, which she stated the house owners have not fastened — from mould to plumbing points within the toilet and kitchen.
“The bathroom overflowed onto the carpet,” she stated. “See that bulge within the carpet? That is the place the bathroom was leaking.
To not point out a rodent drawback, in accordance with Baffour-Singletary. She stated the rats ate by the sofa.
The I-TEAM contacted administration concerning their complaints and acquired the next response:
“We’re conscious of the resident’s considerations and have labored with him to resolve them. Over the previous few months, now we have labored to not solely enhance particular person items, however have opened a free daycare and group heart for our residents and their households. Now we have enrolled the group within the Jacksonville Police Division Watch Group to enhance the protection of all of our residents. Neighborhood amenities have been repaired and improved. Our workforce additionally helped our residents navigate authorities COVID-19 aid choices, elevating over $400,000 in rental help for these in want. After we took over administration of the group two years in the past, the property was rated sub-3.0 on rental websites; due to our work, it’s now rated at 4.0.
Though some tenants on the resort obtain authorities help, Baffour-Singletary stated her household pays for the unit out of pocket.
“We truly tried to take a look at loads of locations, however I assume the lease is simply going up in every single place in Jacksonville,” she stated when requested in regards to the transfer. “So we’ll pay perhaps $1,200 for this place.”
Almost 100 households have advised News4JAX related tales of lease hikes past their finances. Some questioned the legality.
Hikes are authorized, however some Florida lawmakers try to control them.
“Now we have many households dwelling in motels, dwelling of their automobiles,” stated State Sen. Victor Torres, who represents Central Florida.
He needs cities and counties to have the ability to management rents, and he introduces a invoice that additionally says worth will increase should be phased in.
“And these are staff, the working class, it is a disgrace that that is occurring, and now we have to do one thing about it,” he advised I-TEAM.
Jacksonville Metropolis Council President Sam Newby stated he needs the facility to regulate rents, however the state must do one thing first earlier than that occurs.
“I actually suppose they’re profiting from it,” he stated, referring to the house owners. “As a result of COVID scenario and folks transferring north to Jacksonville.”
“I perceive that due to inflation it’s important to go up a bit, however $3 and $400 a month is simply unacceptable,” he added.
Baffour-Singletary hopes the leaders will do one thing earlier than her household’s lease goes up once more.
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