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Legislative Update: The Status of RE Bills in Florida

Important Realtor issues are wending their way through committees. Property rights, affordable housing, emotional support animals and more saw movement last week.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Important Realtor® issues are wending their way through committees of the Florida Legislature. An update from Florida Realtors’ Tallahassee office on actions last week:

Private property rights/vacation rentals
SB 1128 – Pre-empts the regulation of vacation rentals to the state and strikes a balance between addressing community concerns and preserving private property rights. Current status: On the Commerce and Tourism Committee agenda for 2/11/20 at 10:00 a.m.

HB 1011 – Companion bill to SB 1128. Current status: Passed Government Operations & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee on an 8-5 vote. Anticipated to be on the Commerce Committee agenda for 2/13/20.

Affordable housing
SB 998 – Allows local governments to approve affordable housing development on any property zoned residential, commercial or industrial. Also, provides additional accountability and training for Affordable Housing Advisory Committees and Local Housing Assistance Plans. Current status: Waiting to be placed on the Infrastructure and Security Committee agenda.

HB 1339 – Companion bill to SB 998. Current status: Passed Local, Federal, & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on a 12-0 vote. Waiting to be placed on the Way & Means Committee agenda.

Emotional support animals (ESA)
HB 209 – Helps curb the abuse of ESA certificates related to housing. The bill does not address restaurants, airplanes or other public places. Current status: Waiting to be placed on the agenda of its last committee stop, the Judiciary Committee.

SB 1084 – Companion bill to HB 209. Current status: On the Innovation, Industry, and Technology Committee agenda for 2/10/20 at 1:30 p.m.

Environment
SB 712 – Main environmental bill of the 2020 session. Contains the findings from the Blue-Green Algae Task Force and has a heavy focus on Onsite Treatment and Disposal Systems (septic tanks). Current status: In its last committee stop, the Appropriations Committee, SB 712 was temporarily postponed due to an amendment that requires the Department of Environmental Protection to take on more tasks. The department and legislative staff are working on the analysis, and the bill will be heard once that is complete.

HB 1343 – Companion bill to SB 712. Current status: In its second-to-last committee stop, the Appropriations Committee, waiting to be placed on the agenda. As with the Senate version, there was an amendment that requires some analysis. The bill will be heard once that is complete.

Real estate conveyances
HB 469 – Eliminates the two-witness requirement for real estate leases longer than a year. Current status: This bill has been unanimously voted in favor of throughout the 2020 legislative session. The bill is waiting for its 3rd reading on the House floor.
SB 1224 – Companion bill to HB 469. Current status: This bill has passed all of its committees and is waiting to be heard on the Senate floor.

Discriminatory restrictive covenants
HB 733 – Designed to extinguish discriminatory restrictive covenants. Current status: Passed all of its committees and now waits to be heard on the House floor.

SB 802 – Companion bill to HB 733. Current status: In its last committee of reference, the Rules Committee, waiting to be placed on the agenda.

Stay updated on all of the bills that the Public Policy Office is tracking through Florida Realtors’ Legislative Tracker.

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