Commissioner Monestime champions County’s first Tenant’s Bill of Rights
Commissioner Jean Monestime and other elected officials and supporters celebrate the passing of the Tenant’s Bill of Rights ordinance after the Board of County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, May 3.
(Photos by: District 2/Miami-Dade County)
MIAMI-DADE – Commissioner Jean Monestime and his fellow County commissioners unanimously passed an ordinance creating Miami-Dade County’s first Tenant’s Bill of Rights at the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, May 3. As the current Chairman of the Public Housing and Community Services Committee (PHCSC) and a real estate professional for over 30 years, Commissioner Monestime has been concerned about the lack of housing affordability facing the residents of Miami-Dade County. Climbing property prices paired with low wages has created a housing crisis in the County, which features some of the most expensive housing costs in the nation.
“As you know, I’m very passionate about this topic. I also want to thank this Board for being so collegiate about this item. We all have the understanding that we do everything for the betterment of Miami-Dade County. We are just trying to provide equity to those who need it the most. When the Miami Workers Center and groups of housing advocates reached out to our office for the purpose of drafting the Tenant’s Bill of Rights, it became my solemn imperative to help bring these ideas to fruition,” said Commissioner Monestime.
The Tenant’s Bill of Rights would increase awareness of tenant’s rights and provide guidance regarding available community resources. The County Mayor would also be directed to create an Office of Housing Advocacy to help guide tenants to the appropriate agencies with available resources to assist them. The Office of Housing Advocacy will also be responsible for conducting trainings, engaging with community and professional groups representing tenants and landlords, and publishing and disseminating information and educational materials relating to the Tenant’s Bill of Rights.
There are Federal, State, and County laws in place that already provide rights to tenants, but this ordinance codifies them, so tenants are aware of their rights and protections. Some of the protections in the Tenant’s Bill of Rights includes that utility services, whether or not that service is under the control of or payment is made by the landlord, should not be terminated or interrupted without proper notice, and that property owners or managers should not retaliate, coerce, intimidate, make threats, or harass a tenant or any other person who aides or assists such tenant, in the exercise of enjoyment of any right granted or protected by this article.