Home Business New Florida Realty Laws Go Into Effect Today

New Florida Realty Laws Go Into Effect Today

Photo from The Florida Capitol

Dozens of new laws passed during the most recent legislative session and approved by Gov. Ron DeSantis go into effect today, impacting homeowners across the state. They cover a wide range of issues, many championed by Florida Realtors® as a legislative priority.

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Additionally, a bill that would have gone into effect today was vetoed by DeSantis on Thursday. SB 280 was a measure aimed at regulating vacation rentals. The veto was also a Florida Realtors’ legislative priority.

The following is a breakdown of some of the new laws that begin today that impact the real estate industry:

  • Hometown Heroes Housing Program (SB 328): Adds $100 million to the successful first-time homebuyer program. It also builds on the policies created in last year’s Live Local Act that spur private investment in affordable housing, and it clarifies changes to local zoning, height and density regulations to ensure counties and cities have the guidance they need to create more affordable housing options in their areas. Realtors® should encourage their clients to apply.
  • My Safe Florida Home Program (SB 7028): Adds $200 million to the program so more Floridians can protect their homes against storms and reduce their insurance premiums. The bill also provides for home inspections without having to apply for a grant, lets low-income homeowners receive up to $10,000 without having to match the amount and mandates the program administrator to streamline the grant process while prioritizing reviews based on income and age, among other things. Realtors® and their clients can apply here.
  • My Safe Florida Condominium Pilot Program (HB 1029): Expands the My Safe Florida Home Program to include condominiums. This expansion allocates $30 million to help condominiums within 15 miles of the coast harden roofs and openings against storms. Realtors® should go here for more information.
  • Protecting Private Property Rights (HB 62): Addresses issues with squatters who occupy private property by allowing property owners or their agents to request the immediate removal of unlawfully occupying persons from a residential dwelling. More information about this new law can be found here.
  • $408 Million for State and Local Affordable Housing Programs: Lawmakers allocated $408 million to the State and Local Government Housing Trust Funds. This includes $174 million for the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) which includes downpayment and closing cost assistance programs, and $234 million for the State Apartment Incentive Loan program (SAIL) which helps build affordable rental housing.
  • Property Insurance Cost Reductions (HB 7073): Requires insurers to give homestead property owners a deduction on their residential property insurance premiums in the amount of 1.75% of the policyholder’s total premium. It applies to policies with coverage for a 12-month period.
  • Increased Transparency of Condominium Documents (HB 1021): Requires condo associations of 25 or more units to post digital copies of official condominium documents on their websites. These documents include bylaws and rules, articles of incorporation, declarations, annual financial statements and budgets, FAQ sheets, building inspection reports and reserve studies.
  • Increased Transparency of HOA Documents (HB 59): Requires homeowners’ associations with 100 or more parcels to deliver physical or digital copies of their rules and covenants to all members and new members.
  • Over $1.2 Billion for the Everglades and Water Quality (HB 5001): Includes funding for Everglades restoration ($581 million), the C-51 Reservoir ($100 million), Biscayne Bay ($20 million), the Indian River Lagoon ($75 million), the Caloosahatchee River & St. Lucie Estuaries ($25 million), harmful algal blooms ($30 million), springs restoration ($55 million), beach management funding assistance ($50 million), total maximum daily loads ($25 million), the Wastewater Grant Program ($135 million), Resilient Florida Grant Program ($125 million) and Alternative Water Supply ($55 million).
  • Preventing Unlicensed Real Estate Activity (HB 5001): Allocates up to $500,000 to combat unlicensed real estate activity.

Other important laws with later effective dates:

  • Seller Flood Disclosure (HB 1049): Requires a seller to disclose in writing certain flood information to a prospective purchaser at or before executing a contract for the sale of residential property. This disclosure will help buyers make more informed decisions about a property and reduce the number of post-closing disputes. Effective October 1, 2024.
  • Increased Transparency of HOA Documents (HB 1203): Requires homeowners’ associations with 100 or more parcels to maintain official records on their website or an app. Effective January 1, 2025.
  • Annual Adjustment to Homestead Exemption Value and Exemption of Homesteads (HB 7017 and HB 7019): Amendments to the State Constitution requiring the $25,000 of assessed value which is exempt from all ad valorem taxes other than school district taxes be adjusted annually for inflation. If approved by voters it would take effect January 1, 2025.

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