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Renter's Guide to St Petersburg

Welcome to the Sunshine City – St. Petersburg! A vibrant and growing city, it's the kind of place where you can explore new territory all the time, while also spending a weekend afternoon soaking in the sun at one of the many award-winning beaches. Grab brunch downtown in the morning, snorkel in the afternoon, then hit the hottest clubs at night – St. Petersburg has it all.

At 137 square-miles, St. Petersburg is a little more than ¾ the size of Tampa, which is about 25 miles away. St. Petersburg is also 110 miles from Orlando and 270 miles from Miami.

NerdWallet ranked St. Petersburg as the Best City in Florida for Drawing in Millennials, including being #1 for Millennial Job Seekers. According to WalletHub, St. Petersburg is also considered the Best Managed City in Florida.

The weather here can get very hot and humid during the summer, as temperatures often reach into the upper 80s and 90s. Average winter temperatures are in the low 70s, with overnight lows creeping into the 50s. The city also receives around 45 inches of rainfall per year.

Cost of Living in St Petersburg, FL

For the most part, the cost of living is considerably lower than in nearby Clearwater – but higher than in Tampa. Dinner for two costs around $50-$60 at a mid-range restaurant, with a domestic beer to go with your meal increasing the bill by about $4 a piece.

Basic utility services for a 915 square-foot apartment in St. Petersburg cost an average of $165/month, which is quite a bit higher than Tampa, where the same utilities average $137/month.

Bus service in Duluth is provided by Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, which serves Pinellas County and the Tampa area. Monthly passes start at $85. Ride sharing is also available, as well as 24-hour taxi service.

The Tampa metropolitan area was ranked 11th for the worst traffic congestion in the US by the TomTom Traffic Index.

Living in St Petersburg, FL

768 Days – St. Petersburg holds the record for most consecutive days with sunshine.

Nestled between the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay, the city has everything from a growing millennial population, eager to take advantage of the local employment opportunities, to amazing stores and restaurants in the vibrant downtown area.

Being close to Tampa means residents can easily head across the bay for a new adventure, or to catch a baseball, football, hockey, or soccer game – or a race. There's even a rugby team in St. Petersburg, the Bay Area Pelicans.

Believe it or not, St. Petersburg does have a few drawbacks as well, including the high heat and humidity, which can feel like a soggy blanket when you step outside. The city's also something of a retirement haven, meaning there's a large age gap between older and younger segments of the population.

Things to do in St Petersburg

St. Petersburg is the #1 spot in Florida and #10 in the country for Fourth of July Celebrations, according to WalletHub.

The city has many great parks and trails stretching throughout the area. With over 2,400 acres to choose from, you'll have the perfect spots for launching your boat or kayak at a park like Bay Vista Park, and the opportunity to take the kids to enjoy waterslides, pools, and playgrounds at a spot like Northwest Park.

As a pedestrian and bike friendly city, cyclists will find ample trails throughout St. Petersburg, including the African-American Heritage Trail, which covers 12 blocks and details the history of African-Americans in the city.

Attractions like the Manhattan Casino, the Coliseum, and the Sunken Gardens all have roots dating back nearly 100 years and are great venues for weddings, private parties, or to spend the day learning about the city’s rich history. And the nearby Dali Museum boasts the largest collection of Dali’s outside of Europe.

Downtown St. Petersburg is filled with amazing restaurants and bars, galleries, museums, and shops. The area has various districts, such as the Edge District and Waterfront Arts District, which each feature their own unique styles. 

Major festivals and events in the city include St. Pete’s Pride Fest in June, which is the largest LBGT celebration in Florida, where lighted boat parades take to the waters to ring in the holiday season.

Sports fans in St. Petersburg can head to a Bay Area Pelicans game for some rugby action, or hop over to Tampa to see the MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays, NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning. Racing fans can attend the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which is part of the IndyCar circuit.

Of course, you can always swing by the water for horseback riding on the sand, parasailing, kayaking, or just a swim – all with the crisp blue water as your backdrop.

Employment and Economy

Tourism is the main industry in St. Petersburg, followed by financial services, manufacturing, medical technologies, and more.

Raymond James, an investment firm and Fortune 500 company, is headquartered in St. Petersburg, as is the Home Shopping Network.

Education in St Petersburg

Public schools in the city are part of the Pinellas County Schools system, which includes five public high schools and seven private.

The University of Florida has a campus in St. Petersburg, with 33 academic programs educating about 15% of the University of Florida student population.

St. Petersburg College is a community college within the Florida College System known for its top associate degree programs.

Tips for Renting in St Petersburg

Before you move to this sunshine-filled city, here are a few things to be aware of regarding rental rights in St. Petersburg.

Once the lease period ends, your landlord is legally able to increase rent as much as they see fit. However, they must provide notice prior to end of the lease so you can make the decision whether to stay or go.

Your landlord must also keep the structure in good repair, along with exterminating pests and insects. Failure to comply means gives you the legal right to withhold rent. But you're required to send written notification by certified mail at least seven days before the rent is due. This ensures the landlord has time to make the necessary changes.

Always read your lease agreements so you know what's expected. Although oral agreements are legal, it's highly recommended you get everything in writing – and signed.

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