July 1st was a pretty big day for Florida – over 150 different new laws were put into effect, many of which will have a significant impact on those who own and rent homes not only in the metropolitan Jacksonville area, but all across the state.
Here are a few of the major highlights of these laws and what they might mean to you:
According to new Florida Law HB77, there are new provisions that make it easier for landlords to evict tenants who only make partial payments on their rent. Now, when a tenant makes a partial payment, they only have a matter of DAYS to pay the remaining balance before eviction proceedings can begin.
According to this same law (Florida Law HB77) there is a new two strikes and your out policy. This means that if a tenant breaks rules of their lease (like parking violations or having unauthorized pets) two times in ONE year, they can be evicted.
Not all of the laws were negative, though. One law, Florida Law SB342, eases homestead exemptions for those who have a homestead exemption but need to rent their homes temporarily. This does NOT allow for long-term leases or rentals, but can protect some homeowners who find themselves in temporary binds (up to one month of rentals per year.)
Another Florida Law HB87 also makes some significant changes to the foreclosure process here in Florida, where we have the highest number of foreclosures in the nation. This will do a number of things, including placing a greater burden of proof on lenders when it comes to tracking and maintaining the ownership and default status. It also drops the statute of limitations for banks to go after foreclosed owners and judgments from five years down to one year.
What kind of difference will these laws have on you and your home? Does this introduce any new obstacles to your retirement plans? Or, perhaps this opens up a few opportunities. Regardless of whether these changes bring about good or bad tidings, it’s certainly time to take a careful look at your own particular real estate circumstances to see if adjustments need to be made.
If you’re not sure, that’s a fairly safe indicator that it might be time to seek a little advice from the professionals. Consult with a local real estate lawyer, real estate agency or property management firm to find out how this could affect you and your greatest investments.