The 2013 Florida legislative session ended on May 3 and can be considered successful for the apartment industry. Landlord/Tenant Law amendments supported by the industry were approved. There was legislation that would have required leasing professionals to be licensed real estate sales associates and maintenance professionals to be licensed swimming pool/spa contractors in order to clean a pool and add chemicals. Both bills failed to advance. Finally, $200 million was designated for housing programs even though the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund was “swept” into general revenue again.
On April 4, BAAA members were on Capitol Hill in Tallahassee advocating for legislation sponsored by Senator Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland) and Representative Elizabeth Porter (R-Lake City). The bill was approved by the Legislature on May 2 and sent to the Governor for his signature.
The legislation, HB 77, modifies the “Florida Residential Landlord & Tenant Act”. Here are several of the key provisions:
1.) Attorney’s fees may not be awarded for personal injury actions resulting from maintenance issues between landlord and tenant
2.) Modifies the statutory disclosure regarding deposits to provide specific wording, rather than giving the tenant a copy of the statute