This is the second part of the series of the new laws that passed the 2013 Florida legislative session. Here is a link to the first part of the article: Florida real estate legislative wrap-up 2013 - Part 1 .
For the links below, please look at the "Enrolled" version to get the exact language of the new law. Some of these bills have not been signed yet by Governor Scott so there is always a chance he could veto them. I will share in below my non-legal opinion about these new laws as well.
Senate Bill 342. Rental of Homestead Property. It allows Florida homeowners with a homestead property tax exemption to rent out their home up to 30 days each year and still qualify for the exemption. This allows people to take advantage of high paying temporary renters who are in town for events like the Super Bowl, Daytona 500, or similar events. This law was signed by the Governor and effective July 1, 2013.
House Bill 437. Community Development. This closed a tax loophole by for-profit developers to take advantage of property tax exemptions by creating non-profit entities that were basically subsidiaries of the developer. This law was signed by the Governor and effective July 1, 2013.
House Bill 667. Real Estate Brokers and Appraisers. It makes some technical changes to Chapter 475. Among them, real estate brokers under disciplinary action cannot apply for multiple licenses without subjecting those licenses to the same discipline - it prevents a loophole in the current law. With appraisers, it brings them into compliance with Dodd-Frank federal changes among other changes. This law was signed by the Governor and became effective June 7, 2013.
House Bill 903. Adverse Possession. This law yet again tightens up abuses of Florida's adverse possession laws. In South Florida there was an incident that made national news by a viral video of a squatter who took up residence in a swanky million dollar mansion. In addition to properly notifying the property appraiser office of the adverse possession, the law requires the possessor to bring all delinquent property taxes and government liens current. If a person does not comply with these requirements, they can be charged with criminal trespassing. And even if they do comply with this law, but they rent the building out they can be charged with criminal theft. This law was signed by the Governor and effective July 1, 2013.
Senate Bill 1770. Property Insurance. More changes to state-run Citizens insurance. All new applicants for Citizens will have to apply for eligibility through a new clearinghouse. If people can obtain insurance within 15% of what Citizens charges, they are ineligible. It also put caps on how much insurance is available on higher priced homes. Beginning 2015, homes with a replacement cost over $1 million are not eligible any longer and that number will drop $100,000 per year for 3 years. In 2017, the cap will have reduced to homes over $700,000. Additionally there are several other technical changes to Citizens insurance. This law was signed by the Governor and effective July 1, 2013.
House Bill 73. Condominium Associations. This has a lot of technical changes to the condominium law regarding records, insurance, buildings codes, land leases, elections, and more. The changes are numerous and affect the rights of developers, board members, and unit owners in many different ways. The Governor signed this into law effective July 1, 2013.
House Bill 7119. Homeowners' Associations. This law is similar to House Bill 73 above. It affects Homeowners' Associations and covers a lot of the same ground as the condo association law. The Governor signed this into law effective July 1, 2013.
As you can see lots of changes took place in 2013. It is good for Realtors, lenders, and investors to become knowledgeable of these new laws as many will have significant effects on how we do business.