28 percent of Tampa renters want to leave town, says report

Cities like Miami, Lakeland, and North Port are the leading destinations.

click to enlarge Protesters outside of Tampa City Hall demand rent control last March. - Justin Garcia
Justin Garcia
Protesters outside of Tampa City Hall demand rent control last March.
It appears that Tampa renters have had enough.

Since the start of the pandemic, the median rent in the Tampa area has skyrocketed by 39%, which is the "fastest rent growth among all large metros in the country," says a new report from Apartment List.

Now,  according to the site's quarterly Renter Migration Report, 28% of Tampa renters are currently searching for apartments outside of the metro area, with cities like Miami, Lakeland, and North Port as the leading destinations.

Coming the other way, the report notes that 43% of renters looking for apartments in Tampa are searching from places outside of the area, with Orlando, Miami, and New York providing the most inbound search interest. 
The report says that while Miami was the top search destination for New York-based renters, Tampa's rapid growth, on the other hand, is driven largely by in-state renters.

"[Tampa's] surge in demand seems to be coming from renters who are already living in Florida – Orlando and Miami are the top two sources of inbound searches to Tampa, and three other Florida metros (North Port, Lakeland, and Jacksonville) are among the top 10," says the report.

Other recent reports have shown that roughly 45 percent of Tampa residents are currently renters, and that Tampa's renter population also pays 42 percent of their household incomes on housing

It's worth noting that paying over 30% of one's income on rent officially makes them officially "rent burdened, " which means you have less money to pay for other important necessities of life like food and transportation, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Last March, Tampa City Council unanimously voted to enact a "Tenants Bill of Rights" ordinance, which among other things, prohibits landlord discrimination against tenants who receive government assistance.

Meanwhile, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor has shot down any ideas involving rent stabilization or rent control, arguing it would scare off developers.

About The Author

Colin Wolf

Colin Wolf has been working with weekly newspapers since 2007 and has been the Digital Editor for Creative Loafing Tampa since 2019. He is also the Director of Digital Content Strategy for CL's parent company, Chava Communications.
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