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I am originally from the Northeastern part of the United States and it was my experience for those times that I have been a tenant that there was plenty of legal recourse and attorneys willing to get involved in fighting lease violation, reprisals, etcetera on behalf of tenants.

When I moved to Texas I was shocked to see that the political system influences the legal world in such a way where no attorney wants to represent a tenant.

Does Florida have a tenant-friendly political system?

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    What do you mean by “political system”? Are you asking about tenants rights laws? Or are you asking a broader question about the philosophical leanings of the Florida state government with respect to the question of tenants rights?
    – divibisan
    Apr 3 at 17:34
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    @divibisan, I am asking about the philosophical leanings of the Florida state government with respect to the question of tenants rights.
    – Daniel
    Apr 3 at 18:40
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The difference is largely a product of the fact that a larger share of voters in much of the Northeast are tenants relative to much of the rest of the United States, primarily due to low rates of home ownership in places like New York City (46% of all New York State residents rent, the highest in the U.S., the percentage is much higher in its major cities, and municipal level rules are the source of most tenant protections in that city).

The high rates of renting there is largely due to a combination of high density, together with the fact that the development of the condominium system of ownership for multifamily dwellings (first used in the U.S. in Utah in 1960) after legal arrangements for residential real estate were already in place for most residential real estate there. In places where multifamily buildings were developed more recently, many multi-family buildings are organized as condominiums rather than as rental apartments.

Thus, greater protection for renters is really mostly a product of the median voter theorem in municipal governments and the great power given to municipal governments in those states.

Florida also has a lot of renters compared to the national average, and importantly, has a lot of politically powerful urban migrants from the Northeast, who bring their political and legal expectations with them.

The willingness of attorneys to get involved on behalf of tenants in Florida but not Texas probably also reflects the fact that there are more affluent tenants in Florida (often retirees) who can afford to pay an attorney's bills, than in Texas, where housing costs are low and renters are less likely to be affluent.

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  • wow what a powerhouse of an answer. Thank you sir or madam for not becoming offended by my question. I noticed you are an attorney and when I asked this question in another forum, I think I offended Texas attorneys and got my question closed. I mean come on, a broken air conditioning in the middle of Texas and an attorney scoffs at the idea of that being important?! Wow, I thought had seen it all. Thanks again for this wonderful answer.
    – Daniel
    Apr 6 at 0:29
  • I am also shocked at the idea that there are more tenants in Florida and NYC relative to Texas. Anyone ever been to Austin? Its a Toll Brothers wet dream, they can't throw up apartment complexes and other rental dwellings fast enough. And then there is College Station, might as well call it Student City, nothing but students renting single family homes, a cottage industry and an attorney can't make bank? So there is money for student loans but not for an attorneys fee? Something is not right there.
    – Daniel
    Apr 6 at 0:31
  • @Daniel It isn't just how many renters you have, it is how many renters who vote regularly and who can afford lawyers (basically luxury renters) and for whom the rent is high enough to justify hiring lawyers.
    – ohwilleke
    Apr 6 at 4:03
  • interesting. There is this concept of first adopters, those who buy into a product when the price is unaffordable and later when the price comes down it makes it affordable for the masses to buy into. Anyway, it seems to suggest that people with money and/or happen to be voters is what created a market for attorneys in places like New York, Philadelphia and Florida, but that still kind of suggests that the majority of renters in Texas are low income and don't vote, which again, seems odd to me. Do you have a resource where I can take a look at some numbers among different states?
    – Daniel
    Apr 6 at 11:07

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