Renting is getting much more expensive in Tampa Bay cities. 

RENTCafe's February 2018 Apartment Market Report shows renters in St. Petersburg saw the 16th-highest year-over-year increase in average rent among the 250 cities included in the study.

While St. Petersburg's increase of 7.1 percent was the highest in the region, all of the Tampa Bay cities included in the report showed an increase higher than the national average of 2.7 percent. The cities included are Tampa (5.2 percent), Lakeland (6.5 percent), Clearwater (4.3 percent), and, while technically not a city, Brandon (5.6 percent).

Despite the increase, rents for all Tampa Bay cities remain below the national average of $1,364. St. Petersburg had the highest average rent at  $1,246, followed by Tampa ($1,236), Brandon ($1,142), Clearwater ($1,126) and Lakeland ($1,000).

As  expensive as rents may seem in St. Petersburg, renters in Manhattan pay almost three times as much. Manhattan had the highest average rent in  the country at $4,063, followed by San Francisco at $3,428 and Boston at $3,221. When looking at percentage increase, however, two Texas cities, Odessa and Midland, had the biggest increase at 38.9 and 35.7 percent, respectively.

In a separate report from RENTCafe, Florida was listed as one of the least renter-friendly states in the country. 

In  order to determine whether a state was friendlier to landlords or  renters, RENTCafe looked at laws related to 10 different aspects of  renting, including rent increase notices, eviction policies and  landlord's access to properties.

Using  these criteria, Florida ranked 40th in the country for renter-friendly  states. Among the factors cited are a three-day termination notice for  nonpayment of rent, a seven-day termination notice for lease violations,  and the fact that there are no existing statutes regarding maximum  security deposit or for rent increase notices for month-to-month renters.

Original Article by Tampa Bay Business Journal