News & Information: Orlando REALTOR® magazine - Special Feature

2014 Legislative Wrap-up

Friday, August 29, 2014  
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Orlando REALTOR® | September/October 2014

Pictured: Sen. David Simmons (seated) was just one Florida legislator who hosted an office visit from ORRA members during the 2014 Great American REALTOR Days. Standing, l-r: Kathleen Gallagher McIver, John Naglee, Greg Rokey, Theodora Uniken Venema

The 2014 Florida legislative session is over, the bills have been signed by Gov. Rick Scott, and (most of) the laws have taken effect. Here’s a list of the changes that in some way impact real estate:

HB 979 establishes challenge grants for local homeless coalitions, nonprofits, and other agencies that assist the homeless, and also provides these agencies with training and technical assistance.

SB 542 encourages private insurers to enter the Florida market by giving them rate-setting flexibility and reduced regulatory burdens. The legislation specifies four types of flood insurance policies, and does not require the purchase of “replacement cost” for structures.

SB 1672 (by Sen. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs) contributes to REALTORS’® goal of shrinking the state’s insurer of last resort. Citizens will no longer write new multi-peril policies on condo buildings, and it prevents contractors from rebating all or a portion of the deductible to the policyholder. This action is intended to curb fraud.

SB 708 creates a “Homeowners Bill of Rights” to help protect policyholders from having their policies canceled and claims denied. The legislation seeks to stop a practice known as “post-claim underwriting” used by a large Florida insurer to avoid paying claims.

HB 7037 allows community association managers to complete certain association forms, calculate and prepared assessment and estoppel certificates, negotiate financial terms of a contract on behalf of an HOA, and draft pre-arbitration demands. Florida REALTORS® supported an amendment to prevent management companies from imposing additional charges incurred when collecting delinquent assessments.

HB 489 impacts sellers who have retained, or will retain, subsurface rights of lots where a new home will be constructed pursuant to a contract with the seller. In these instances, sellers must provide a specific notice at or before the execution of a sales contract stating that the transaction does not include subsurface rights.

SB356 empowers local governments to enact ordinances specific to vacation rentals, such as noise, parking and garbage restrictions. However, local governments may not pass a local ordinance that prohibit vacation rentals or regulates their duration or frequency.

Source: Florida REALTORS®

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