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Why is the South Florida Rental Market offering such a low supply?

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So many of our clients are questioning how the rental market in South Florida be so low on supply and selection.  With the sales market so slow, with so many properties listed for sale, how can owners not be motivated to rent their homes? 

Let's take a look at the current condition of the economy.  2010 featured a year of a vast volume of foreclosures.  Short-sales are not closing or being approved by the lenders for a variety of reasons, many being that lenders benefit more financially when they foreclose versus modify with a short sale.  And with the volume of properties pending short sale and foreclosures that ties up a large volume of homes that would be either available for rent or sale.  The process once a bank forecloses may not be as expedient as one may expect in order to put that inventory on the market.  Or maybe the banks are not quite versed in having decision makers in departments that can accept offers rapidly or even at all.

So that creates the following challenge for our rental market:

  • Very low inventory of homes that are available for rental
  • Very high demand for previous homeowners becoming renters who have lost their homes
  • Buyers that are waiting to buy for reasons they cannot obtain financing or are just delaying buying till they see what the future market brings are now renting
  • Rental rates are increasing as the landlords are seeing the demand for their properties
  • Bidding wars on 1 bdrm condo rentals are not uncommon for the 1st time in decades or even 1st time ever
  • South Florida - with Fort Lauderdale, Pompano, Miami, Boca Raton, Aventura, Miami Beach, South Beach, Palm Beach is a transient area.  So rentals are always quite consistent, even in great sales markets.  There is always a need in South Florida for people to rent, and not because they cannot buy.

What can a potential renter do to assist in their rental search to make it less challenging and reduce potential problems:

  • Be aware of Craigslist ads that may be fraudulent.  Currently there are many scams that are occuring in which a thief is acting as a landlord and advertising properties on Craigslist.  Potential renters are sending in deposits to a non-existent property owner.
  • Work with a licensed real estate associate or company that has a proben track record in rentals.  Not one that is just working on rentals to survive while the sales market is slow.
  • Check the county tax records for the ownership of the potential rental property.  And then check the County Clerk of the Court records to see if the home is in foreclosure.
  • Chinese Drywall & Mold Inspection - many properties in south Florida have these challenges.  Work with a reputable agent that is versed on educating potential renters on how to verify the property does not have a Chinese Drywall issue.
  • Be sure your security deposit is held in an escrow or trust account and not by the landlord.  It is illegal for a landlord in the state of Florida to co-mingle escrow funds with their own funds or to collect interest from security deposit without disclosing that to their renter and receiving an okay.
  • Have your lease reviewed by an attorney if you are not working with a Fla REALTOR.  REALTORS use FAR/BAR leases/contracts created by the Florida Association of Realtors and Florida Bar Association.
  • If you are planning to stay longer than a year in your rental think ahead and request options to renew with a maximum increase in your initial offer before you rent.

As the rental market continues to be in demand there will be more and more challenges for a potential renter to be aware of.  Do your research and homework.  It will protect you from a variety of potential problems in your rental process.

Posted by

Andrea Tsakanikas

Licensed Real Estate Broker


(954) 630-1300 Local

(866) 908-MLS1 Toll Free



2701-C East Oakland Park Boulevard

Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33306


Jeff Andresen
Buffett Hathaway Real Estate - Highlands, NC
Jeff Andresen

Great post Andrea! Thank you



Mar 05, 2012 02:08 AM