PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - For Rent Florida Realty, the business of rentals keeps the staff busy. The company manages 440 properties, which are listed at www.rentfloridarealty.com. Usually, about eight to ten percent of their properties are vacant, but right now, it is only five percent.
"Years ago, we wouldn't take anyone with a foreclosure, because that was just part of our criteria. But now, there are so many people that are in foreclosure that are homeowners that need a place to live, that they have been excellent tenants of ours," explained Rent Florida Realty owner Steve Terrinoni.
He says foreclosures are helping the rental industry.
"Maybe twenty percent of renters that come through our office are former homeowners," he said.
What a typical renter will pay for rent has increased in the last years, according to Zillow.com. The real estate research company suggests South Florida's rentals go for six percent more than they did a year ago.
The demand and the supply have both increased, according to Terrinoni. He says, as property values have bottomed out, investors have come to South Florida looking to purchase and rent out properties. They often come from international locations, like Canada or Germany, looking to buy foreclosed properties.
"They are buying anywhere from four to ten units," Terrinoni said.
The situation has also opened the door for residential communities, like Tennis Towers.
"Right now, we are 97, almost 98 percent occupied," explained Assistant Property Manager Ashley Louis.
She says that of the 306 units that are at the complex, only seven are currently available to rent.
"We have a lot of people that, you know, continuously tell us we want to be there for five, six years, you know, something long term, versus something where they want to move in for a year and then purchase their own property," she said.
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