A young couple looking to rent an apartment in Orlando could be in for a big surprise.
A city ordinance requiring rental agencies to verify the identities of prospective renters is set to go into effect Monday, which could result in some very awkward situations for people who are searching for a rental.
“You don’t have to give me a name and number, and you don’t even have to show your face, but it is going to be a little bit more challenging for me than just having a photo,” said the couple, who would only want to be identified by their first name.
“If I have to look like a man or a woman, then it will be a bit easier, but if I have a picture of myself, it will probably be a lot harder.”
According to the city ordinance, rental agencies will be required to “comply with the requirements set forth in Section 6.5(a)(1)(iii) of the ordinance.”
“The purpose of the regulation is to enhance the safety of our residents and their property, and to ensure that renters are properly screened for safety and security,” the city’s Office of Safety and Neighborhoods explained in a statement.
“The ordinance is expected to create a number of new regulations, which may result in a greater demand for rental services in the future, including requirements for the identification of prospective landlords.
The City will continue to monitor the impact of the regulations.”
Under the ordinance, prospective landlords will need to “immediately verify the information provided to the prospective renter via the website or email.”
“The City has determined that the website will be used to verify information provided by prospective landlords,” the Office of Neighborhood Safety and Security said in a written statement.
The law is set for implementation on July 15.
The new ordinance will also require landlords to give renters access to the name and contact information of prospective tenants before the rental agreement is signed, and will also prohibit landlords from renting to people who have been convicted of a felony, domestic violence, or sex offense.
“If a landlord is required to provide the information in order to make a rental agreement, the landlord should contact the prospective tenant and provide that information to the tenant at least 48 hours before signing the rental contract,” the City of Orlando’s Office for Community Standards said in the statement.