Rental prices are skyrocketing everywhere in Southwest Florida, pushing people to move out of our area.
One family says their rent was set to increase by $800 a month, so they packed their stuff and left the state, and they aren’t alone.
It wasn’t that long ago that the average rent increase was 3-5%. Now, families in Southwest Florida see hikes as much as 40%.
WINK News spoke with a property manager to get the perspective of the people doing the rent raising.
Apartment complexes and rental properties are everywhere in Cape Coral. People moved there because they were affordable places to live, even giving some families a chance to save money to buy a house.
That is not the case now because inflation makes it challenging for families to save money, and rents are skyrocketing.
The average for a one-bedroom in Cape Coral is $1,800, according to apartmenthomeliving.com.
“Most of our stuff is running about a three to $400 increase,” said Kevin Kellogg, broker and owner of Logical Choice Realty Group.
Kellogg manages several rental properties in Cape Coral. In the last several months, his clients increased the monthly rent, Kellogg believes, because their costs are soaring. Specifically their property taxes and insurance rates.
“They’ll ask what the new market rate is for their property. I’ll share that number, and I normally give them a range. And they’re still not getting what they need, and it creates a negative income for them,” said Kellogg.
People typically never buy a property thinking they’ll lose money. Kellogg said that’s pushing smaller landlords to get out of the rental business. “We’ve done half a dozen investors that have sold out of the market this year.”
Kellogg said rental increases are not a one size fits all answer. It depends on who your landlord is.
“If you have somebody individually, taking care of the property, and managing it on their own. And they’re way below market value, and them hearing the market and what’s going on, they may want to increase that dramatically to the top of the market, creating that $800-$900 increase,” said Kellogg.
Those types of increases are not illegal here in Florida, and there is no price gouging.
According to state law, there’s no limit to how much landlords can increase your rent once a lease expires.
Kellogg said when you go to renew, make sure you get a rent range report. “When we do hand out this renewal notice, we also include a document that goes with it that’s showing the four stages of what the rent could be, so they can see exactly where our numbers are at.”
A group of Florida Democratic lawmakers sent a letter to Governor DeSantis at the end of last year asking him to direct the attorney general to consider any rent increases higher than 10% as price gouging, but the governor did not do that.