Community Organizations Urge Governor DeSantis to Veto Anti-Affordable Housing Bills HB 1417 and HB 133

Coalition of renters and advocates have opposed these bills and urge Governor DeSantis to defend local freedoms by putting people over corporate profits and vetoing these bills

Today, Florida For All, alongside a coalition of renters, workers, and community organizations, urged the Governor’s veto of predatory legislation in two veto letters sent to his office. The HB1417 veto letter can be found here; the veto letter for HB133 can be found here.

Last week, the Florida Legislature passed HB1417, the Predatory Landlords Protection Act, which would ban local renter protections, and HB133, Perpetual Renters Junk Fees. After the rejection of more than forty pro-consumer amendments filed by House Democrats, both chambers passed the bills mostly along party lines. Following passage last week, the legislation will soon be sent to the Governor’s desk for his veto or signature. 

HB1417 would ban local solutions to the housing crisis across the state. These solutions have broad, bipartisan support and have been passed by several counties and municipalities. Safeguards for tenants erased by this state mandate include consumer protections in Naples, Islamorada, Gainesville, Tampa, Hillsborough, and St. Petersburg that simply require landlords to inform renters of their rights. Also banned would be elements from the Orange County and Miami-Dade County Tenants Bill of Rights laws and support offered by local tenant services offices. This predatory state mandate is backed by deep-pocketed corporations who continue to inflate rents across the state to profit off of desperate renters. 

HB 133 pretends to address the burden of inflated security deposits by changing that requirement to monthly fees. But unfortunately, while it appears to offer tenants a way around large security deposits, it raises the cost of their rent. This bill would make tenants pay monthly fees instead of a deposit to a private third-party company such as Rhino or LeaseLock. But this does not benefit the tenant who is paying for the fake insurance. The tenant is still 100% liable for any damages and must repay the fees to the company in full for any claims paid out to the landlord. Renters can be sued by this third party to recover damages that they are under the impression they are insured against. HB 133 prioritizes landlord profit over the safety and well-being of tenants, causing consumer confusion and putting further financial burdens as well as risks on renters. 

Ruth Moreno, Deputy Director of Florida For All, offered the following statement on the passage of the bill and urged the Governor’s veto, As Floridians work with their local leaders to pass common-sense local solutions to the housing affordability crisis, corporate landlords backed by private equity firms are pushing this crushing statewide mandate that undermines local freedoms and bans common sense renter protections already in place. The Governor has a clear choice. If Governor DeSantis truly wants to hold corporations accountable and defend our freedoms, he would veto HB1417, and support legislation like the Keep Floridians House Act, SB1658/HB 1407“.

Andrea Mercado, Executive Director of Florida Rising, offered the following statement of the passage of HB 133 and urging the Governor’s veto, “State leaders should protect consumers from predatory companies, not codify their junk fees into our state law. The legislature could have capped security deposits to one month’s rent and required monthly payments into them, but instead, they passed a predatory bill that creates consumer confusion and allows perpetual junk fees for renters. The Governor has a choice; he can stand with working families or with profiteering out-of-state companies. We urge him to veto the bill.” 

These are two of many predatory bills targeting consumers, renters, and workers moving through the legislature this session. Learn more about how greedy corporations, multinational investors, and the ultra-wealthy are raking in record profits while Floridians are being priced out of the state in Florida for All’s Priced Out of Paradise corporate greed report here.