Orlando residents face ‘financial eviction’ as rents skyrocket with no end in sight_freckle removal los angeles

Trevor Fraser, Orlando Sentinel·4 min read

Engineer Matt Swanson was working in the home office of his Baldwin Park apartment a few days ago when his wife, Katelynn, came in crying.

“She was hard sobbing, couldn’t catch her breath,” Swanson said. “I asked ... ‘Did someone die?’”

It wasn’t that. Instead, the Swansons had received the renewal notice from their landlord. The monthly rent on their two-bedroom was going up by $703, from $1,747 to $2,450 — a 40% increase.

“We are essentially facing financial eviction,” said Swanson, 29.

Such sticker shock is common for Orlando renters as skyrocketing demand pushes rents to new heights, a situation experts say isn’t likely to end anytime soon.

“I wish I could tell you that we’re going to have some moderation in rents. I just don’t see it,” said Jonas Bordo, CEO of apartment listing website Dwellsy. “I think we’re going to see more aggressive price increases.”

The median asking rent in metro Orlando in March was $2,295, according to Dwellsy, a 57% increase year-over-year. Orlando ranked No. 8 on cities with the highest increase in the nation.

Tampa with a 56% increase and Jacksonville with 53% were the only other Florida cities to make the top 10. Tuscon, Arizona, took the top spot with a 139% increase.

Swanson said his rent at Azul Baldwin Park went up by $100 last year, and he had expected something similar this year. But, he added, “a hundred in a normal year would feel like a lot.”

Azul Baldwin Park did not return a request for comment.

Swanson was given 30 days to agree to the new lease. He says the search for a more reasonably priced apartment has been frustrating. “There’s not a lot of availability,” he said. “The ones that are available are the most expensive models.”

Metro Orlando has only a 5.2% vacancy rate, according to data analysts CoStar.

Swanson says he has all but given up on finding a new apartment.

“Our approach now is to find as affordable of a rental house as we can, even if we have to make some concessions about quality or location,” he said.


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