Protections proposed for renters

Feb 20, 2010

WTSP St. Petersburg

Renters in Florida would get new protections under proposed legislation at the state Capitol.

The plan would prohibit renters from getting kicked out of their residences when an owner's property goes into foreclosure.

There are an estimated 4.5 million residential renters in Florida. One study finds more than 20 percent of the properties facing foreclosure nationwide are rentals.

Sen. Dan Gelber's bill would make sure renters get at least 90 days to find another place to stay.

"When times are tough in the midst of a recession, which we have right here and in some areas it's much worse than simply a recession, people really are preyed on. People are really exploited and it's very important that people up here in Tallahassee have their backs," said Gelber.

Michelle Fontaine recently rented a property and after she moved in, she discovered it was in foreclosure. Then the bank told her to get out.

"I am here to support this bill because I believe that I should have some kind of notice. I should be able to stay the length of my lease or have enough time so I can find a new place," Fontaine said.

Sen. Gelber's bill would also protect a renter's security deposit in cases of foreclosure.

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Political advertisement paid for and approved by Dan Gelber.