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Walle: “Renters’ Rights” Ordinances aren’t ready

The opinions expressed by letter or opinion writers are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of AlachuaChronicle.com.

Dear Editor,

Gainesville’s proposed “Residential Rental Unit Permit and Inspection Program” Ordinance, which the Gainesville City Commission will consider on first reading at their meeting this Thursday, is not ready for adoption. The newest drafts now address several previously unfinished code sections, but the public does not have enough time to review these and provide feedback.

The City wants Sections 14.5(a)-(b) – the proposed life, safety, and property maintenance requirements – to go into effect on October 1, 2020, but the International Property Maintenance Code, as modified by the City, is still being evaluated. It is impossible to tell how significantly it varies from the existing Chapter 13 of the Code. Property owners do not have enough time to evaluate and make any necessary changes. The revocation of a rental permit could displace tenants, potentially violating their rights.

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If a unit is rented and the permit is revoked, would the tenant be allowed to continue to occupy the unit through the end of the lease term? How long would the tenant have to vacate? What kind of notice, if any, would be given to tenants who are forced to vacate a rental unit because it does not have a current rental permit?


David Walle, Gainesville

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