Effective July 1, several new laws in Florida are set to bring significant changes across various sectors, including real estate. These laws, passed during the most recent legislative session, aim to address a range of issues from property insurance to environmental protection. For professionals in the real estate industry, understanding these changes is crucial to navigating the evolving landscape.

Hometown Heroes Housing Program (SB 328)

The Hometown Heroes Housing Program receives an additional $100 million to support first-time homebuyers and promote private investment in affordable housing. This program also 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.

My Safe Florida Home Program (SB 7028)

The My Safe Florida Home program receives $200 million to help Floridians protect their homes against storms and reduce their insurance premiums. This includes home inspections without having to apply for a grant and up to $10,000 for low-income homeowners without matching funds. The program administrator is mandated to streamline the grant process while prioritizing reviews based on income and age​.

My Safe Florida Condominium Pilot Program (HB 1029)

This program expands the My Safe Florida Home Program to include condominiums, allocating $30 million to help condominiums within 15 miles of the coast harden roofs and openings against storms​.

Protecting Private Property Rights (HB 621)

This law 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​.

$408 Million for State and Local Affordable Housing Programs

Lawmakers allocated $408 million to the State and Local Government Housing Trust Funds, including $174 million for the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) and $234 million for the State Apartment Incentive Loan program (SAIL) to help build affordable rental housing​.

Property Insurance Cost Reductions (HB 7073)

This bill 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.

Increased Transparency of Condominium Documents (HB 1021)

Condo associations with 25 or more units are required to post digital copies of official condominium documents on their websites. These documents include bylaws, rules, articles of incorporation, declarations, annual financial statements, budgets, FAQ sheets, building inspection reports, and reserve studies​.

Increased Transparency of HOA Documents (HB 59)

Homeowners’ associations with 100 or more parcels must 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)

The fiscal year budget includes funding for Everglades restoration, the C-51 Reservoir, Biscayne Bay, the Indian River Lagoon, the Caloosahatchee River & St. Lucie Estuaries, and other water quality and environmental projects​.

Preventing Unlicensed Real Estate Activity (HB 5001)

This budget allocates up to $500,000 to combat unlicensed real estate activity, ensuring that real estate transactions are conducted by licensed professionals only​.

Several other important laws are coming into effect over the next year:

Seller Flood Disclosure (HB 1049)

Effective October 1, 2024, sellers are required to disclose certain flood information to prospective buyers at or before executing a contract for the sale of residential property. This disclosure helps buyers make more informed decisions and reduces post-closing disputes.

Increased Transparency of HOA Documents (HB 1203)

Effective January 1, 2025, homeowners’ associations with 100 or more parcels are required to maintain official records on their website or an app​.

Annual Adjustment to Homestead Exemption Value and Exemption of Homesteads (HB 7017 and HB 7019)

Amendments to the State Constitution require the $25,000 of assessed value, which is exempt from all ad valorem taxes other than school district taxes, to be adjusted annually for inflation. If approved by voters, it would take effect January 1, 2025.

What It Means for the Real Estate Market

The new laws effective July 1 in Florida represent a significant shift in the state’s legislative landscape, with wide-ranging implications for the real estate market. Property insurance reforms, environmental regulations, affordable housing initiatives, and changes in tenant rights are all set to impact homeowners, developers, landlords, and real estate professionals. By staying informed and adapting to these changes, professionals in the real estate industry can better serve their clients and navigate the evolving market dynamics. If you are seeking to make informed decisions on the real estate market in the wake of these changes, contact our expert team!

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