With rising rents, a need for safe and affordable housing, and tenants not knowing their legal rights, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners today opened its Office of Tenant Services to help residents understand their rights and have access to assistance with these challenges.
Open as of today, the Office of Tenant Services is a one-stop shop that addresses issues of landlord and tenant rights for citizens located within unincorporated Orange County. Its focus will be on outreach and education for both tenants and landlords by providing information related to residential renting within Orange County.
Office of Tenant Services
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the goal of the Office of Tenant Services?
The goal of the Office of Tenant Services is to provide information and resources for landlords and tenants facing challenges. The office can also investigate complaints and enforce the Tenant Bill of Rights Ordinance and the Rental Notices Ordinance.
What is the Tenant Bill of Rights?
The Tenant Bill of Rights ordinance was enacted to inform tenants of their rights and to provide additional protections to residential tenants in unincorporated Orange County, including protection from discrimination and unlawful practices. Rental properties located within Orange County’s 13 municipalities are not covered by this ordinance.
What types of units does the Tenant Bill of Rights Ordinance apply to?
The ordinance applies to all rentals located in unincorporated Orange County. Rental units are defined as residential housing unit that is or may be occupied by a tenant who does not own the property in exchange for consideration and by virtue of a lease agreement with the owner of the property.
What is the Rental Notices Ordinance?
Orange County’s Rental Notices Ordinance protects tenants by requiring landlords to provide a 60-day written notice for rent increases greater than five percent. The ordinance also provides protections for residents and landlords who may not have a written lease agreement in place and pay rent on a quarterly or monthly basis. Either party can terminate these arrangements by providing a 60-day written notice to the other party. The ordinance affects all areas of the county, including its 13 municipalities.
What types of units does the Rental Notices Ordinance apply to?
The Rental Notice Ordinance applies to all rental units in incorporated and unincorporated Orange County except for mobile home lot rentals in mobile home parks or the related landlord-tenant relationships.
What services does the Office of Tenant Services provide?
The Office of Tenant Services provides information, education and outreach, and referrals for tenants. The office does not provide any type of financial assistance.
How does the Office of Tenant Services enforce the Rental Notices Ordinance and the Tenant Bill of Rights Ordinance?
The Office of Tenant Services enforces any violations of the Rental Notice Ordinance and the Tenant Bill of Rights Ordinance by investigating the complaint, and if a violation of either ordinance is determined to have occurred, the office will issue a non-criminal civil citation.
Under the Tenant Bill of Rights Ordinance, when must the landlord maintain the signed Notice of Tenant Rights?
The landlord is required to maintain the signed copy of the Notice of Tenant Rights for the duration of the lease term.
Under the Rental Notices Ordinance, when must the landlord notify its tenant of a rental increase of more than 5%?
Rental increases greater than 5% require the landlord to give the tenant 60 days’ notice.
Under the Rental Notices Ordinance, when must the landlord notify its tenant of a non-renewal of a lease?
Non-renewal of a lease requires the landlord to give the tenant 60 days’ notice.
Under the Tenant Bill of Rights Ordinance, what is a lawful source of income? A lawful source of income is defined as:
Is my landlord required to give me 60 days’ notice for an eviction?
No, evictions are governed by State statutes and the Judicial system.
How can I contact the Office of Tenant Services?
The Office of Tenant Services can be contacted by emailing the office at TenantServices@ocfl.net, by calling 407-836-RENT, or by contacting 311.
“This is a great opportunity for our county to provide important resources to our residents, and I am excited to open the Office of Tenant Services officially. We will be one of the few counties in the state that has such an office, and our staff has worked tirelessly to make this day possible,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings. “I am looking forward to engaging with the Legal Aid Society and to using our funds to provide services to tenants and landlords.”
The Office of Tenant Services ensures residents know what their rights are under Florida law. The office can also investigate complaints and enforce the Tenant Bill of Rights Ordinance and the Rental Notices Ordinance, as well as provide referrals for:
For more information about this program, visit: www.ocfl.net/tenantservices
About Orange County Government: Orange County Government strives to serve its residents and guests with integrity, honesty, fairness, and professionalism. Located in Central Florida, Orange County includes 13 municipalities and is home to world-famous theme parks, one of the nation’s largest convention centers, and a thriving life science research park. Seven elected members make up the Board of County Commissioners, including the Mayor, who is elected countywide. For more information, please visit www.OCFL.net or go to Orange County Government’s social media channels.
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