I-TEAM: Landlords respond to rising rents, say they are struggling too

Over the past few weeks, renters have reached out to the News4JAX I-TEAM, saying they are trying to make ends meet and in some cases feel they are the victims of price gouging.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Over the past few weeks, renters have reached out to the News4JAX I-TEAM, saying they are trying to make ends meet and in some cases feel they are the victims of price gouging.

In what’s being called an affordability crisis, landlords are now opening up to the I-TEAM, saying they have no other choice than to raise the rent.

Tambria Biasco owns five properties that she rents and manages. She says the cost of ownership has skyrocketed.

“Our costs have increased significantly, pretty much across the board, homeowners’ insurance has increased,” Biasco said. “My property taxes have increased both maintenance and repair, labor and materials. All those costs are increasing, and it’s increasingly difficult to find repairmen. So when I do find someone, I’m usually paying, you know, premium to get help.”

Biasco points out that her home insurance is already high on tenant-occupied homes. She and some other landlords who reached out to News4JAX said they are not price gouging.

″I would like everyone to realize that some landlords like us are sharing this burden with our tenants,” Biasco said. “We are not increasing 100% of our recently increased costs. I wish everyone could understand that because profits are down significantly on some properties, we’re having to change our lifestyle just like our tenants are because of what’s going on.”

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Landlords are joining the conversation on News4JAX.com, saying that the cost to maintain apartments and condominiums is through the roof.

One landlord writes, “I have not dramatically raised rents, ever. Currently insurance in Florida is requiring many new roofs to keep insurance at a 30% increase. The cost of labor and materials for repairs are also exponentially more expensive.”

Seth Smith adds, “In case you are wondering what taxes on an apartment complex go for, $987,000 on a 328 unit complex. That is roughly $3,000 per unit, or about $250 per month of your rent. Don’t forget the mortgage payment, insurance, maintenance, employee pay, and such.”

Property owners point out that one of the most important aspects of being a good landlord is communication and laying out line by line the reason for the rent increase to the tenant. If you’re the renter, and this information isn’t offered to you, real estate economists suggest you ask your landlord for all the factors that came into play in raising the rent.


About the Author:

Tarik anchors the 4, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. weekday newscasts and reports with the I-TEAM.