The 2015 Florida Legislature recently passed a number of real estate-related bills impacting Realtors®, brokers, appraisers, insured homeowners, condominium owners, and other individuals in the real estate community. Orlando title insurance company, Real Estate Closing Solutions, presents the bills, categorized either as a Senate Bill (SB) or House Bill (HB) with the corresponding bill number following the nomenclature. A short definition of the bill and its impact follows the bill number.

  • SB608 requires the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) to reinstate lapsed or null and void broker licenses on a temporary emergency basis, which will allow real estate offices to instate an emergency broker if their current broker passes away or leaves office. This bill also clarifies appraiser and appraisal management record keeping requirements.
  • SB766 permits the use of a drone (an unmanned radio-controlled flying device used for aerial photos) by a “person or entity engaged in a business or profession licensed by the state”, which exempts licensed real estate agents and brokers. The use of drones has been prohibited statewide; this gives Realtors® the ability to take aerial photographs of properties.
  • SB836 allows for more time for insurance companies to pay Flood Insurance Guarantee Fund (FIGA) assessments. FIGA pays claims of insurers who are unable to pay. SB836 was specifically designed to attract private market capital Florida.
  • SB1094 furthers the establishment of a private primary flood insurance market as an alternative to the National Flood Insurance Program. Private primary flood insurance may cover the building only rather than personal property or living expenses associated with home destruction during a flood. This may alleviate escalating insurance costs and appease homeowners looking for partial coverage.
  • HB21 establishes residential homes to voluntarily become state-certified recovery residences, also known as “sober homes”. Currently, Florida’s ability to govern recovery residences is immensely restricted by federal regulations.
  • HB715 allows coastal homeowners to maintain Citizens Insurance coverage that would have been denied because of renovation or reconstruction, as long as the remodeling does not exceed 125% of the original size of the building being insured.
  • HB643 restricts bulk buyers from forcing condominium owners out of their homes without adequate compensation.
  • HB779 gives tenants of foreclosed properties thirty days to remain in possession of their property. Buyers of the foreclosed properties provide a notice similar to a lease termination to the tenants, who have 30 days following receipt of the notice to vacate the premises.

Read more information pertaining to the latest in real estate by browsing our Orlando title insurance website, or call us at (407) 615-8550. Our knowledgeable staff invite you to visit online or in person with your requests.