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Florida Real Estate Legislation Effective July 1 2016

July 1, 2016

florida_sealFlorida Real Estate laws are modified, enhanced, updated and new legislation created each year. It is the responsibility of Real Estate practioners to stay current with local, state and federal laws in order to best represent homeowner and homebuyers in Florida.  This year there is significant legislation and legislative updates that take effect July 1, 2016.

Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater’s bill, SB 1274 especially affects the counties in the Tampa Bay area most affected by sinkhole claims.  Many homeowners in the past took the insurance money that was earmarked for remediation and either paid off their mortgage or pocketed the money instead of repairing the home.  When the homeowner would attempt to sell the home at a later date, they were dismayed to discover that the home was uninsurable and the only interested parties were investors looking to pay pennies on the dollar or sinkhole repair companies who could repair at a fraction of the value had the home been repaired.  As a result of this abuse the insurance companies scaled back their coverage, leaving homeowners with few options for sinkhole coverage.  The new legislation allows insurance companies to offer a new line of sinkhole insurance that covers more moderate damage, such as sunken floors and cracked walls. Under the bill, policyholders would have to document the fact that they made the repairs. They would not be allowed to collect insurance money and pocket it or spend it elsewhere

Rep. Bryan Avila, R-Hialeah’s bill, HB 499 affects challenges to property assessments.  If a property owner disagrees with the value placed on their property that is sent in August in the Truth In Millage (TRIM) notice, they may challenge the assessment before their county’s Value Adjustment Board (VAB).The Value Adjustment Board consists of two County Commission members, one School Board member and two citizen members. Currently, only an attorney or “agent” may represent the owner. However, the new law expands that list of representatives to include a real estate appraiser or broker. To learn more about how to protest a proposed assessment go to the link below.

Okeechobee0WaterwaySen. Charlie Dean, R-Inverness bill, SB 552  was one of the first bills passed by the Florida Legislature, offers a statewide water policy. It lays the foundation for a comprehensive water management program for the state. The focus is how to preserve one of Florida’s greatest natural assets: (1) protect and restore fresh water springs; (2) give the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) oversight for scientifically-based water research programs; and (3) allow the DEP to oversee pollution control measures for Lake Okeechobee, the Caloosahatchee Estuary, and the St. Lucie River and Estuary.

Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Jacksonville’s bill, SB 184 offers protection for active military who are looking to rent by offering faster lease approvals from landlords and condo/homeowner associations. Under the new law they are required to approve or deny a rental application submitted by active duty service personnel within seven days. If the application is denied, the prospective tenant must be given the reason. If the application is not processed within the seven-day period, the landlord and condo/homeowners’ association must lease the unit to the service member. Real Estate professionals who are Property Managers screening tenants for landlords, it is important to be aware of the tenant’s service member status so they don’t inadvertently violate this new law. This is one of the many reasons for a potential home renter to use a licensed professional in their home search.  Private owners who attempt to become landlords are frequently unaware of Florida laws regarding a tenants rights, as are the prospective tenants.  A Real Estate licensees job entails rigorous continuing education.

For information on obtaining a real estate license or are considering a career in Real Estate and live in the Tampa Bay area, Contact Nature Coast Real Estate School’s website for our schedule of classes..

Nature Coast Real Estate School offers LIVE CLASSROOM and ONLINE INSTRUCTION for Pre and Post Licensing Classes for Sales Associates and Brokers, as well as Weekend Exam Prep Courses.  It has four locations in Pasco and Hernando counties to serve the Real Estate Licensing needs of the north Tampa Bay area.

For more information on the location and class preparation, call Jeanne Gavish at 352-650-1029 or email me at  



Nature Coast Real Estate School



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