Tenants at a Key West home with one- and two-bedroom apartments have a pool, fireplace and a hot tub, a feature that was added in an effort to accommodate more people, according to a report released Wednesday by the Florida Keys Landlord and Tenant Board.
Key West resident Mary Anne Smith, who has lived in the house since 2003, said she likes the new pool and hot tub.
She and her husband, Steven, had been planning a trip to Florida in December to visit family, but couldn’t find a spot in Key West.
They decided to rent a two-story house with the pool and pool house on the ground floor.
They are expecting their first child soon and are looking forward to getting their daughter to school.
They said they would have liked a larger pool, but the building is small enough that they could have moved the pool out of the way, said Smith, 55.
The house also had a small fireplace, but that has been turned off.
The board’s report said that since the pool, pool house and hot pool was added to the home in March 2016, the property has undergone about three years of improvements.
Smith said that was because the building needed a new exterior deck that would allow it to be used as a boat dock and for boat rides.
The board also noted that the pool house is “an attractive location and offers an inviting setting for guests to enjoy the pool or relax on a balcony overlooking the pool.”
In the past, Key West property managers have installed sprinklers in the pools, but Smith said the water had been “very, very bad,” especially after Hurricane Irma hit the region.
The water in the pool has a higher pH than the surrounding waters, she said.
Smith said she hopes the new water will be improved in the future, adding that she thinks the house will look nicer in a few years.
“I hope that we are going to be able to enjoy swimming, having a good time and enjoying life and that’s the beauty of our town,” Smith said.
The Florida Keys landlord and tenant board, a quasi-governmental agency, said the board’s recommendations are intended to address the challenges faced by landlords in trying to accommodate people who live in one-bedroom, two- or three-bedroom rentals.
Key West has seen a rise in rents due to rising housing costs, as well as other factors, including rising crime and more people living in the city, the board said.
In 2015, the Florida Board of Supervisors approved the first-of-its-kind law that requires landlords to add an extra bedroom or bathroom in one unit when the total floor space is one bedroom or less.
A total of 21,000 of the houses were added to that requirement.
The Florida Keys board said it has taken the recommendations to its staff, and that it hopes to see the new legislation passed soon.