Multifamily Florida - Spring 2013 - (Page 10)
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 –
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
• 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
• 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
• 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
*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
• 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
• 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
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!
Plan Ahead ... Weather, or Not
To Tow ... or Not to Tow?
Index to Advertisers/Adv.com
Multifamily Florida - Spring 2013