2023 Florida REALTORS®© Legislative Highlights

Dated: May 9 2023

Views: 436

Mike McGraw, 2023 President, Florida Realtors© - The Florida Legislature has clearly signaled their commitment to homeownership, private property rights and the protection of the robust Florida economy. 

  • Historic Housing Legislation: Senate Bill 102, the “Live Local Act,” is a comprehensive affordable housing bill and major priority for Florida Realtors®. Highlights of the bill include the largest investment in housing ever in state history ($811 million), $1.5 billion over 10 years to build new affordable rental units, expansion of the Hometown Heroes Housing Program’s eligibility requirements and max loan amount, new tax exemptions and credits to incentivize private investment in affordable rental housing, and easing of local restrictions on where affordable housing can be built. Effective July 1, 2023.
     
  • Statewide Ban on Rent Control: In response to Orange County’s efforts to pass an unlawful rent control ordinance during the November 2022 election, Florida Realtors® worked with lawmakers to enact a statewide ban on rent control. Those efforts were ultimately successful with the inclusion of this ban in Senate Bill 102. Stopping local governments from enacting harmful rent control policies will allow the innovative housing strategies in Senate Bill 102 to increase housing inventory around the state and help drive rent prices down. Effective July 1, 2023.
     
  • Protecting Landlord-Tenant Rights: In response to high rent prices,, local governments in some areas of the state reacted by passing burdensome, tenant-related ordinances that negatively impacted private property rights and local housing markets. House Bill 1417 corrects this issue by preempting regulation of residential tenancies to the state. This is a retroactive preemption, meaning this bill will void all current local ordinances which expand beyond current state law. Effective July 1, 2023.
     
  • Further Reduction of the Business Rent Tax (BRT): Businesses throughout Florida will save approximately $260 million due to a 1% reduction of the BRT from 5.5% to 4.5% included in House Bill 7063. This 1% cut provides businesses who rent their space some additional tax relief while they wait for the planned reduction of the BRT to 2% that is currently set to occur in August 2024. Effective December 1, 2023.
     
  • Over $1.1 Billion for the Everglades and Water Quality: The Florida Legislature continues to allocate significant funding for projects that improve Florida’s water quality. The 2023-2024 fiscal year budget (Senate Bill 2500) includes money for Everglades Restoration ($574 million), Indian River Lagoon ($100 million), Caloosahatchee River Watershed ($25 million), springs restoration ($50 million), beaches ($206 million), Biscayne Bay ($20 million), the Wastewater Grant Program ($200 million) and the Resilient Florida Grant Program ($320 million). Effective July 1, 2023.
     
  • Protecting Real Estate Appraisers from Frivolous Lawsuits: Florida’s real estate appraisers are being sued for appraisals they performed more than a decade ago. House Bill 213 prevents these frivolous lawsuits by establishing a four-year statutory limitation on the time in which a civil cause of action can be brought against a real estate appraiser or appraisal management company.  Effective July 1, 2023.
     
  • Giving Businesses Tools to Fight Harmful Regulations: Local governments routinely pass ordinances that directly and indirectly impact local businesses. Many of these local ordinances often have unintended consequences felt throughout the business community. Senate Bill 170 would make local governments show the impact of a new ordinance on businesses and suspend enforcement of an ordinance being challenged in court. Effective October 1, 2023. 
     
  • Helping Real Estate Brokerages Avoid Unnecessary Lawsuits: Some real estate brokerages and businesses are being sued for legitimate telephonic marketing practices due to an unclear provision of law passed in 2021. House Bill 761 amends these provisions of the Florida Telephone Solicitation Act (FTSA) to clarify definitions and written consent requirements to put an end to these frivolous lawsuits. Effective upon becoming law.
     
  • Making Condominiums Safer and More Transparent: During a special legislative session in 2022, a new law was passed to increase the safety of condominium buildings and transparency of community associations. Senate Bill 154 clarifies several measures contained in the previous reforms, such as who can perform milestone inspections, flood insurance requirements, the specific items subject to a structural integrity reserve study, and the resale disclosure requirements associated with milestone inspections, reserve studies and newly added turnover inspection reports. Effective upon becoming law. 
     
  • Increasing Property Insurer Accountability: Senate Bill 7052 contains a number of provisions intended to increase consumer protection and insurer accountability in Florida. Provisions include restrictions on insurers canceling a policy with an open claim, increased fines against insurers, limits on insurer executive compensation under certain circumstances, and significant guardrails for insurers who amend insurance adjuster reports. Effective July 1, 2023.
     
  • Expanding My Safe Florida Home Hardening Program: House Bill 881 expands eligibility requirements of the home hardening grant program known as My Safe Florida Home to include homes with an insured value up to $700,000 located anywhere in Florida. Previously, a home’s insured value was capped at $500,000 and it had to be in the state’s wind-borne debris region. Additionally, the legislature appropriated another $100 million to extend this program and, as a result, more Floridians will be able to protect their homes against storms and reduce insurance premiums. Effective July 1, 2023.
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Monica Luzarraga

For more than two decades, I've been working as a real estate agent and co-owned a real estate development company. Throughout this time, I have had the pleasure of working with a diverse range of cli....

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