REAL ESTATE’S 2020 LEGISLATIVE CHANGES
Randy Gilbert, J.D.
Chief Happiness Officer
Florida’s Title Insurance Company
(954) 500-Title (8485)
Senate Resolution 1008 “Great American Realtor Days” is designated for February 3-5, “in recognition of the outstanding services realtors provide to residents and visitors of the state and the critical contribution they make to the state economy.” Finding teal estate represents 21.9% of Florida’s gross state product.
Fla. Stat. §40.013. Excuse Me? Jury Duty. Excuses from jury service 18-21 year old full-time-students.
Fla. Stat. §83.5615 Tenant Protection from Foreclosures. Prohibiting buyers of foreclosed properties from terminating bona fide residential leases without first providing the tenants with a 90-day notice to vacate (unless federal law requires more time).
Fla. Stat. §193.155 Homestead Portability. In the 2021 tax roll, increases timeframe which accrued benefits on homestead property tax assessments may be transferred from a prior homestead to a new homestead from 2 years to 3 years.
Fla. Stat. §196.082. Ad Valorem Tax Reduction for Disabled Veteran’s Surviving Spouse. So long as the surviving spouse does not remarry, the ad valorem tax discount will be extended to surviving spouse, also allows for the discount to be ported over to surviving spouse’s new residence.
Fla. Stat. §§ 420.621-420.6275 Homelessness. Redefining homelessness as “An individual or family who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence … or who will imminently lose their primary nighttime residence ….” Adds prohibition on excluding based on race, color, national origin, sex, handicap,
familial status, or religion.
Fla. Stat. §§ 455.213, 489.115. Reciprocity for Out-Of-State Contractors. Opens up ability to get Florida construction license for those who held a valid and current contracting license for at least 10 years issued by another U.S. state.
Fla. Stat. §455.2278. DBPR Licensure and Student Loans. Eliminating license suspensions or revocation based on student loan default or delinquencies.
Fla. Stat. §§ 456.072, 460.27, 760.22, 817.265 False use of Emotional Support Animals (“ESA”), Criminalizing, Disabilities. Word “Handicap” is no longer used, replace with “Disability.” Disciplining health care professionals if without personal knowledge they state a person is disabled or needs an emotional support animal (“ESA”). Makes it a 2nd degree misdemeanor and requires 30 hours of community service, if a person misrepresents they have a disability or disability-related need for an ESA. Makes persons with ESAs liable for damages caused by their ESA. Unless federally prohibited, housing providers:
- May, require proof of licensing and vaccination of the ESA.
- May, deny an ESA if it (1) poses a direct threat to safety or health of others; (2) physical damage to other’s property; and the threat cannot e reduced or eliminated by another reasonable accommodation.
- May, If the disability is not readily apparent, request reliable information reasonably supporting the person’s disability like:
(1) Determination from the government,
(2) Disability benefits or services from the government,
(3) Proof of eligibility for housing assistance or housing voucher due to disability,
(4) Information from a health care or telehealth provider,
(5) Information identifying the particular assistance or therapeutic emotional support provided by the animal.
(6) Animal registrations of any kind (i.e. ID card, patch, certificate, or internet registration) by themselves are insufficient to reliably establish a person’s disability or need for an ESA.
- May NOT, request information disclosing diagnosis or severity of a person’s disability
- May NOT, request medical records relating to the disability
- May NOT, require the use of a specific form or notarized statement
- May NOT, discriminate in housing against persons with disabilities or needs for an ESA.
- May NOT charge extra for an ESA.
Fla. Stat. §481.209. Interior Designer Licensure. Eases the requirements for becoming a registered interior designer and obtaining a seal.
Fla. Stat. §489.103. Handyman licensure exception. Raises from $1,000 to $2,500, the exemption from licensure as a contractor. Doesn’t apply if work is part of a larger operation undertaken by the same or a different contractor.
Fla. Stat. §501.2106 Deceptive Legal Advertising. Solicitations for legal services directed to the public must clearly and conspicuously state “This is a paid advertisement for legal services”; Disclose the sponsor of the advertisement; Disclose the attorney or law firm who will represent persons responding to the advertisement or how those persons will be referred if the sponsor will not represent the persons; cannot imply it is a consumer alert or public service announcement; display logos or similar thereof implying affiliation with a government agency.
Fla. Stat. §613.57 Increases Property Insurance Requirements for Associations. Increases coverage for property insurance claims by a condo, co-op, or HOA under Florida’s Insurance Guaranty Association (FIGA) from $100,000 to $200,000 multiplied by the number of units.
Fla. Stat. §689.01. Eliminates 2 Witness Requirement for Leases. “[N]o subscribing witnesses shall be required for a lease of real property or any such instrument pertaining to a lease of real property.”
Fla. Stat. §689.041. Curing Scrivener’s Errors in deeds. Correcting an erroneous deed can be costly and time-consuming, as such action requires either tracking down the original grantor and getting the grantor to file a corrective deed or bringing a lawsuit in court for deed reformation. Now a single error or omission of: a lot or block; unit, building or phase number for condos or co-ops; a directional designation; or a fraction in the section township or range, can be fixed by recording a “curative notice” of the erroneous deed.
Fla. Stat. §712.05 Voids Discriminatory Restrictions in Property Records. Declaring “discriminatory restrictions” (meaning restrictions on an individual’s ownership, occupancy, or use of real property based on their race, color, national origin, religion, gender, physical disability, or other protected class) found within recorded title transactions (e.g. deeds, easements, condo docs) null and void.
Florida Chapter 714. Adopts the Uniform Commercial Real Estate Receivership Act (UCRERA): A receiver is a person appointed by a court to take possession of another’s property and to “receive, collect, care for, and dispose of the property or [its] fruits.” In some instances, a receiver’s appointment (“receivership”) is governed by Florida statute. In other cases, such as receiverships for commercial real estate, a receiver is appointed under the court’s equity powers (“equitable receivership”). The Uniform Commercial Real Estate Receivership Act (UCRERA), adopted by seven states since 2017, specifies the circumstances under which a receiver may be appointed for commercial real estate, the scope of such a receivership proceeding, and the receiver’s powers, duties, and liabilities.
Fla. Stat. §§ 718.129, 719.131, 720.318. Curbs Law Enforcement Parking Restrictions at HOAs. Condos, Co-Ops, and HOAs may not treat law enforcement vehicles as commercial vehicles, and may not prohibit them from parking in an area where the unit owner, or its tenant, guest, or invitee has a right to park.
Fla. Stat. §760.34 Private Lawsuits for Housing Discrimination. No more waiting and having to exhaust administrative remedies. Housing discrimination lawsuits alleging violations of the Florida’s Fair Housing Act (“FFHA”) may now be immediately filed in court without having to be first presented to Florida Agencies like the Florida Commission on Human Relations and waiting for their outcome.
Fla. Stat. §791.08 Fireworks and HOAs. HOAs may not prohibit homeowner’s from using fireworks on December 31st (New Year’s Eve), January 1st (New Year’s Day), or July 4th (Independence Day).
DISCLAIMER: Topics discussed are general concepts, not intended to constitute legal advice, accuracy, nor completeness, and may not be relied upon as such; consult an attorney. FTIC is a national award winning title insurance company known for its white glove customer service and “No Junk Fee Guarantee.” ®