Critics call Joyner bill anti-tenant

04/10/07 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday | Listen to this entire show:

 

All of Florida’s main consumer groups are opposing legislation being sponsored in the State Senate by Tampa’s Arthenia Joyner that will allow landlords to charge renters up to 2 months rent when tenants move out early, even if the landlord has found a new tenant to make up lost rent.

 

Palm Beach County Attorney Rod Tennyson said that, if approved, the issue could affect about 450,000 people in Florida, or about 10 percent of all those who rent

(roll tape#1 o.q.”adverse to the tenant”)

 

Walter Dartland is with the Consumer Federation of the Southeast.  His organization also thinks the bill is unfair to renters (roll tape#2 o.q.” for the consumer”)

 

A similar proposal went before the Legislature a year ago, but now Democrats are also supporting the bill.  Attorney Rod Tennyson says he’s surprised Arthenia Joyner is sponsoring it – and thinks the only reason is that a respected lobbyist who has worked with Democrats in the past, Ron Book is working for the Florida Apartment Association this year (roll tape#3 o.q.” helping us defeat these bills”)

 

WMNF asked Tennyson who Rob Book is, and why is he so influential (roll tape#4 o.q.”


Another Democrat who formerly opposed the legislation is Senator Dave Aronberg.  He was unavailable for comment, but said that it could actually benefit tenants who end their lease early, because under current law, a tenant must pay for the remaining months of the lease if the landlord cannot find another tenant.  Under the new law, that would be capped at 2 months.

 

But Walter Dartland from the Consumer Federation of the Southeast doesn’t think a whole lot about that provision (roll tape#5 o.q.”landlords and tenats”)

 Senator Joyner was tied up in Committee Meetings throughout the day, and was unavailable to speak to WMNF before we went to broadcast this story.

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