WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Finding affordable and workforce housing continues to price many renters out of paradise. But a real estate expert has some advice to try and lower the price as costs skyrocket.
Palm Beach County leaders have said that monthly rent is on the rise by as much as 50%.
Real estate attorney Adam Seligman, an equity partner at Ward Damon Law in West Palm Beach, is now offering advice to negotiate a better deal.
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"For tenants, it's probably the worst time to be a renter that I've ever seen as a lawyer," Seligman said.
A challenging time in the housing market has become a common theme in recent headlines across the country, especially in South Florida.
"We have a combination of extremely low inventory. You have high expenses. You have a booming population, low vacancy rates. It's just not a good time to be a renter," Seligman said.
He is witnessing a changing landscape across the region.
"Palm Beach County, overall, I think is up 10% since last year," Seligman said. "North County is up almost 24%."
The conversation is also taking center stage among county leaders.
"Workers can't find an affordable place to live here," said Palm Beach County Mayor Robert Weinroth said a Jan. 25 meeting.
"Whatever we're doing right now, it's not working," said Palm Beach County Commissioner Mack Bernard during the same meeting.
The rising cost of rent is taking a toll on renters.
Seligman said corporate-owned complexes are not likely to cut costs, but renting directly from a property owner could be promising.
"With the small mom and pops, you maybe negotiate with these owners and renew for only a 5% increase next year," Seligman said. "You can also try to pull on their heartstrings a little bit and negotiate year over year with caps on increases for options."
However, low inventory mixed with limited options is adding to the strain on renters.
"There's just no inventory whatsoever, so landlords could demand much higher increases," Seligman said.