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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Nine Landmark Bills Impacting the Real Estate Landscape

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed nine new bills into law, covering a range of topics from homeowners’ associations to HVAC systems.

According to legislative analysis, these laws include the following changes…

HB 59 — HOA Rules and Covenants

House Bill 59 mandates that homeowners’ associations (HOAs) provide their members with either a physical or digital copy of their rules and covenants by October 1, and to all new members thereafter.

The HOAs must also update members with any changes to these rules. This law takes effect on July 1.

HB 141 — Economic Development

House Bill 141 revises the Regional Rural Development Grants Program, which aims to help rural communities attract new businesses.

The changes include removing the requirement for regional development organizations to match grant funds with non-state resources, and the need for local governments and private businesses to provide financial or in-kind contributions.

Additionally, the Florida Department of Commerce no longer has to consider the applicant’s demonstrated need when approving program participants. This law takes effect on July 1.

HB 149 — Continuing Contracts

House Bill 149 raises the limit for continuing contracts under the Consultants’ Competitive Negotiation Act (CCNA). This act, established in 1973, ensures state and local governments hire professionals based on qualifications rather than price.

The new law increases the maximum threshold for continuing contracts from an estimated per-project construction cost of $4 million to $7.5 million, with annual adjustments based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This law takes effect on July 1.

HB 293 — Hurricane Protections for HOAs

House Bill 293 enhances hurricane protections for properties under homeowners’ associations. HOAs must now establish hurricane protection specifications, including details like the color and style of protective products.

They cannot deny applications from homeowners to install or replace hurricane protection as long as it meets these specifications. The law, which defines “hurricane protection” to include various structural and emergency components, took effect immediately upon signing.

HB 481 — HVAC System Regulations

House Bill 481 updates regulations for HVAC systems, allowing certain contractors to perform specified line-side repairs or replacements and to handle specific HVAC circuit components.

Additionally, HVAC system warranties can no longer be conditional on product registration, and the warranty period will start from the date of installation. This law takes effect on July 1.

HB 535 — Low-Voltage Electric Fences

House Bill 535 clarifies the requirements for low-voltage electric fences, stating that a non-electric fence or wall only needs to enclose the outside perimeter of a low-voltage electric fence, not both sides.

It also mandates that these electric fences be two feet higher than the surrounding non-electric fence or wall. Local governments must allow low-voltage electric fences in areas not exclusively zoned for residential use. This law takes effect on July 1.

HB 705 — Public Works Projects

House Bill 705 expands the definition of “public works project” to include those funded with local as well as state-appropriated funds.

It clarifies that this definition excludes goods, services, or work incidental to these projects. This law takes effect on July 1.

SB 556 — Protection from Financial Exploitation

Senate Bill 556 aims to protect adults aged 65 and older and vulnerable adults from financial exploitation. It allows financial institutions to delay transactions or disbursements if there is a reasonable belief of exploitation.

Institutions must notify all authorized parties and trusted contacts within three business days and conduct an internal review. Delays can last up to 15 business days, extendable by an additional 30 business days. This law takes effect on January 1, 2025.

SB 644 — Rural Emergency Hospitals

Senate Bill 644 creates a new designation for “Rural Emergency Hospitals.”

It extends the licensure expiration date for rural hospitals licensed in FY2010-2011 or FY2011-2012 from June 30, 2025, to June 30, 2031. This law takes effect on July 1.

 

 

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