Local landlord: overwhelmed with the cost of owning multiple rental properties, but has not raised rent

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida’s property insurance crisis is one of the biggest issues in the state right now. A local landlord tells News4JAX despite the rising costs, she has not passed it on to her tenants.

Landlord, Laura Carriere, is actually giving her tenants a break - while she took a 54% increase in property rates.

Realtors say there could be relief on the way - but they say local and state leaders will need to get involved.

“Consistent increases, when I look at overall, there’s properties that have gone up anywhere from, you know, 10%-12%, two years in a row to this one, which is due this month, went up 54%. Since last year, $683 increase for one property,” Carriere said.

She has eight rental properties – all under different insurance companies, and all their rates jumped.

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It’s frustrating, I get angry, but why, you know, why when we maintain our properties, we take care of them,” Carriere said. “We don’t overuse insurance. We don’t make false claims.”

Carriere hasn’t considered selling her properties and is doing her tenants a favor by not raising rent.

“We have the ability to not pass that on yet --but eventually, it’s going to catch up,” Carriere said.

Jacksonville landlord owns multiple properties, but has not raised rent (Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

It’s a ripple effect frustrating thousands of Floridians.

Rent prices and insurance premiums are climbing, and some policies are dropped as insurers leave the state.

On the bright side, the Northeast Florida Association of Renters says the real estate market is showing signs of stabilizing. These aren’t big shifts, but in August, the home affordability index registered at 79.5 – which is a small increase from July’s 79. A higher number means greater affordability.

“Florida realtors and Northeast Florida Association of Realtors are working with Congress, the state, as we go into 2023 for insurance reform, and you’re absolutely right,” Mark Rosener, Northeast Florida Association of Renters President said. “Homeowners insurance is a big issue as it relates to home affordability.”

As far as going into 2023, with insurance reform, Rosener said, “The biggest piece of the insurance cost and the huge increase is that Florida is a major litigated claims state.” Rosener continued, “The legal costs that are associated with that are very dramatic and raise the cost of insurance for Florida residents. And so that really needs to be addressed.”

Rosener encourages local leaders to get creative with subsidizing buildings and encourages people to shop around with insurers – something that Carriere has already done, with no luck.

“They need to cap increases, they probably need to roll back some of the increases that have happened too,” Carriere said.

She says regulation of the insurance industry in Florida is needed.

In Orange County - there is a rent control plan on the ballot for November. The ordinance would make increases limited to the rate of inflation and only apply to places with four or more units.

News4JAX asked Rosener about this potentially being something Jacksonville could consider, he says, in theory, it sounds good, but doesn’t really help people paying rent.

About the Author:

A Florida-born, Emmy Award winning journalist and proud NC A&T SU grad