Multifamily Florida - Spring 2013 - (Page 10)

LEGISLATIVEUpdate And So It Begins by Laura A. Heiselman FAA Government Affairs Director Though the Legislative Session officially begins on March 5, 2013, there has already been significant activity in our state’s capital. While major areas of focus will include education, insurance reform and dealing with a budget surplus, the apartment industry can look forward to a session that includes issues related to: landlord/tenant law, licensing, swimming pool and spa contracting, expert witness testimony, fire safety and fair housing law. For the first time, a legislative priority workshop was held during our January Board meeting. Kelly Mallette and I lead the discussion where we outlined the bills of interest that had already been filed and then encouraged the attendees to discuss what they deemed important. Legislative Committee members (and others who were interested in the process) broke up into small groups and discussed the issues at hand. After each group identified their top three industry priorities for 2013, a group leader explained their ideas. After all suggestions were reviewed, it was determined that we would have four top priority issues for this Legislative Session. FAA PRIORITIES FOR 2013 **Please note that at the time this article was written (mid-February) this is the most current information available. Legislation is subject to the amendatory process and may not reflect language referenced here once this edition goes to print. Landlord Tenant Law – HB77/SB490 Position: Support* The “Florida Residential Landlord and Tenant Act” governs the relationship 10 l MultifamilyFLORIDA l SPRING 2013 between landlords and tenants under a residential rental agreement. This bill modifies the Act to: • Make it applicable to lease-purchase agreements for residential properties if the buyer has not paid at least one month’s rent and paid a deposit of at least 5 percent of the purchase price of the property or at least 12 months’ rent. • Provide that attorney’s fees may not be awarded for personal injury actions resulting from maintenance issues between landlord and tenant. • Provide that certain statutory notice and attorney’s fee provisions may not be waived in a lease. • Modify the statutory disclosure regarding deposits to provide specific wording. • Require landlords to pay regular assessments to an association. • Clarify eviction notice requirements for a recurrent noncompliance event within 12 months. • Allow a landlord to accept partial rent without waiving the right to evict. • Require reciprocal notice by the landlord and tenant of an intent to not renew the lease at the end of the term. • Provide that a sheriff’s notice of eviction is not stayed by weekends or holidays. • Prohibit a landlord from retaliating against a tenant who lawfully pays a landlord’s association dues pursuant to a lawful demand, or a tenant who complains of a fair housing violation. • Provide that a landlord and a mobile home park owner must be given an opportunity to cure a deficiency in any notice or pleadings prior to dismissal of an eviction action. • Provide technical and stylistic changes. *Conditional – based on expectation of language change or removal that would not require litigation when a dispute exists regarding security deposit. We feel confident that we will get this change and are looking forward to supporting it. Swimming Pool and Spa Contracting – HB737/SB156 Position: Oppose • Overturns the court case that limited who must be a swimming pool contractor. Under this bill, simply cleaning the pool or treating the water with equipment not permanently attached to the pool will require a contractor’s license. Reduces the qualifications to be a pool contractor. Licensing Requirements for Leasing Agents – HB481 (no Senate bill at this time) Position: Oppose • Provides definitions applicable to real estate brokers, sales associates and schools; revises exemptions from regulations of real estate profession; requires landlords & leasing agents to be licensed real estate sales associates. Felons’ Rights (No bill has been filed at this time but we expect that Representative Bracy will file in the coming weeks.) Position: Oppose At a recent meeting of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, we were asked

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Multifamily Florida - Spring 2013

Legislative Update: And So It Begins
Renovations and Maintenance: Managing the Many Moving Parts
Hey Mold ... Dry Up!
Five Crucial Conversations for Flawless Execution
Open for Business!
President's Message
Plan Ahead ... Weather, or Not
APAC Update
To Tow ... or Not to Tow?
Apartment Trends
Index to Advertisers/

Multifamily Florida - Spring 2013