Florida Realtors®, the state’s largest professional trade association with more than 187,000 members, applauds Gov. Ron DeSantis’ signing into law House Bill 447 and House Bill 409 which provide remedies to open and expired permits and allow the use of online remote notaries in real estate transactions, respectively.
“Open and expired permits bring uncertainty to real estate transactions and can delay the closing, and in some cases, prevent a home purchase,” says 2019 Florida Realtors President Eric Sain, a Realtor and district sales manager with Illustrated Properties in Palm Beach. “That’s why we applaud the leadership of Rep. Ben Diamond and Sen. Keith Perry to sponsor this legislation, and Gov. DeSantis’ decision to sign it. It will go a long way in helping homebuyers and sellers fulfill the American Dream in Florida.”
To address the problem of open and expired permits, HB 447 allows local governments to close a permit six years after its issuance as long as no apparent safety hazards exist. It also prevents local governments from penalizing property owners for an open permit that was applied for by a previous owner. The remedies to open and expired permits will become effective on Oct. 1, 2019.
“Many states throughout the nation allow the use of online remote notaries in real estate transactions, making them easier, faster and more convenient for distant consumers,” adds Sain. “Thanks to Gov. DeSantis’ signature and the leadership of Rep. James Grant and Sen. Jeff Brandes to create and pass this legislation, Florida now joins this crop of modern, forward-thinking states.”
In addition to authorizing the use of online remote notaries, HB 409 also contains measures that protect the integrity and security of the documents being notarized. The use of online remote notaries becomes effective on Jan. 1, 2020.
Florida Realtors® serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to 187,000 members in 52 boards/associations. Florida Realtors® Media Center website is available at media.floridarealtors.org.